Kuala Lumpur 23rd February 2021 – Islamic Finance news (IFN), the Islamic finance industry’s leading media provider, has announced Pakistan’s Meezan Bank as the winner of the prestigious IFN Best Overall Islamic Bank 2020.
Meezan Bank’s win comes in a year wrought with unprecedented difficulties due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Islamic bank rose above market challenges to serve the Pakistani public in line with government direction, alleviating economic strain on businesses — small and big — as well as individuals with targeted Shariah compliant financing and bolstering the customer experience and driving financial inclusion with robust digital initiatives while maintaining its market lead as the Islamic Republic’s largest Shariah bank.
When profits were squeezed across most industries, Meezan Bank bucked the trend having managed to boost its bottom line through prudent lending practices and careful investments: it generated a growth of almost 44% in post-tax profit in 2020 at PKR22.67 billion (US$142.08 million). The bank’s firm market position, well-established domestic franchise, sound governance practices, healthy profitability and solid funding base secured it an ‘AA+/A1+’ rating from VIS Credit Rating Company.
Despite the global economic challenges, Meezan Bank propelled ahead as it signed numerous partnerships and launched various initiatives to meet urgent market needs including finalizing guidelines for digital mobile accounts, arranging the government’s landmark PKR200 billion (US$1.25 billion) Pakistan Energy Sukuk by Power Holding, launching electronic IPO subscription for brokerage houses, being the first bank in the country to distribute financing through the Prime Minister’s Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar, Low Cost Housing Finance scheme and enhancing its digital architecture through several alliances and investments including collaborating with the government to roll out the groundbreaking Roshan Digital Account which enables the Pakistani diaspora to access banking and investment services in a completely digital environment.
The annual IFN Best Banks Poll recognizes the best providers of Islamic financial services across a series of markets and sectors as voted by the readers of Islamic Finance news. Islamic finance issuers, investors, non-banking financial intermediaries and government bodies are invited to participate by casting their votes. Voting takes place during December with the results announced in January. The IFN Best Banks Poll 2020 garnered the highest number of votes in its 16-year history making the 2020 edition its broadest and largest with over 26,000 votes across 44 categories and 35 countries. It continues to serve as a barometer of Islamic banking excellence as one of the most respected accolades in the Islamic finance industry.
To learn more about the IFN Best Banks Poll winners’ list and categories and to gain an insight into the working practices of the ‘best of the best’, please visit https://www.islamicfinancenews.com/awards/.