Karachi, September 25, 2014: Meezan Bank Limited Pakistan’s first and largest Islamic bank achieved another milestone by signing an agreement to provide Shariah technical services & support and Branchless Banking services to Edbiz Consulting (Pvt) Ltd in collaboration with State Bank of Pakistan. Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, President & CEO – Meezan Bank Limited, Mr. Humayon Dar, CEO – Edbiz Consulting and Mr. Saeed Ahmed, Director Agricultural Credit & Microfinance Department of State Bank of Pakistan signed the agreement at a ceremony held on September 22, 2014.
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is implementing the Financial Inclusion Program – Financial Innovation Challenge Fund (FICF), sponsored by the UK Aid, with the aim to improve access to financial services in Pakistan. FICF aims to support pilot projects with focus on innovation in rural and agricultural finance in Pakistan.
The proposal shared by Meezan Bank and Edbiz Consulting for the 2nd challenge round of FICF was approved by the FICF committee of SBP. Under this project, Edbiz consulting will establish a Mudarabah for the purpose of rural and agricultural financing with Akhuwat being the Micro Finance Service Provider (MFSP) on ground. Meezan Bank being the knowledge partner will provide Shariah technical services & support including capacity building, public awareness seminars, rural & agricultural research, product development, Shariah audit and other related services of Islamic Finance along with Branchless Banking services.
This 6-month pilot project will pave way for developing Meezan Bank’s rural, agricultural & micro-financing portfolio along with an opportunity to explore the untapped area of micro-savings through Branchless Banking.