Askari Bank was incorporated in Pakistan on October 9, 1991, as a public limited company. The bank commenced its operations on April 1, 1992, and is principally engaged in the business of banking, as defined in the Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962. On 21st June 2013, Fauji Group acquired Askari Bank. The Bank exists in the PSE (Pakistan Stock Exchange) list. Previously, it was also listed on Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi Stock exchange before merging into a single combined Stock Exchange, i.e., PSX.
Headquartered in Rawalpindi, the bank employs over 7,279 personnel with 440 branches across the country. According to a 2016 report, the bank reports a total of assets valued at US$5.6 billion and a net profit of US$47 million. The Bank has five-hundred and thirty-five branches all over Pakistan and a wholesale unit in Bahrain.
Since its inception, Askari Bank has concentrated on growth through improving service quality, investment in technology and people, utilizing its extensive branch network, which includes Islamic and agricultural banking.
According to the Credit Ratings of Banks, DFIs and MFBs published by the State Bank of Pakistan in 2019, among other private banks, Askari Bank Limited rating outlook is stable and holds A-1+ in short-term and AA+ in long-term ratings.
When it comes to banking, the customers rely on the transparency, commitment, and easiness of services provided by a bank. Unlike other banks, Askari Bank does not mislead their customers with extreme or unnecessary fees and do not overcharge them to make a profit. Askari Bank provides all these services to gratify the needs of its customers, along with their added focus on the incorporation of digital banking and provision of services at the fingertips of customers through mobile banking.
Askari Bank showed a highest-ever profit of Rs. 7.03 billion, a 59% per cent increase from last year in 2019.
Corporate Social Responsibility: Giving Back To Community
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an integral part of the method in which Bank does its business and is an essential element of their strategy. The leadership of the organization is socially conscious and contributes to less privileged people via several charitable associations working for society’s welfare. CSR is an integral part of the Askari Bank. According to the organization’s website, in order to fulfil Askari Bank’s CSR objectives, the organization attempts to promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development through sponsoring social service events, supporting education, sports and environment and also contributing in socio-cultural activities. The Bank promotes several initiatives that foster community development and growth. Such as the Bank has started an ‘In-House’ training project for graduated kids of their low-income workers to enhance their job chances. Through this initiative, children of low-income employees can sit in a test after graduation, and after clearing this test, they receive paid-training and a guaranteed job. The bank contributes to many programs and initiatives related to relief work, cultural endeavours, health, environmental causes, sports events, and education. A prominent example of this contribution is Askari Bank Green Day.
Askari Bank Green Day: A designated day for the plantation and creating awareness to make the Pakistan green and clean. This initiative also aligns with the mission of Prime Minister Imran Khan Clean and Green Pakistan. Askari Bank organizes the Green Day across Pakistan for the last couple of years. More than 500 Askari Bank branches in 155 cities across Pakistan, participate in the plantation drive, distributes plants and raise awareness for a greener Pakistan in their respective cities. Along with the employees and customers of Askari Bank, public servants and famous dignitaries, and general public actively participate in these campaigns. On the occasion of Askari Bank Green Day Aug 26, 2020, President Mr Abid Sattar said: “As a socially responsible organisation, Askari Bank fully recognises its obligation for a better environment and cleaner greener Pakistan and will continue to actively pursue and support this national cause”.
Training and Development
The workers of a bank are considered as the primary assets and principal contributors to the performance of a bank. Askari Bank along with its services to the customers equally focuses on the training and development of their employees and emphasizes on retention, motivation, and attraction of its workers. For effective delivery of its core values and dynamism, the Human Resource department of Askari Bank focuses on training and development of their employees and provides them with a conducive environment to ensure the timely and quality services for their clients and customers and meet its mission. To ensure the quality delivery of services and align them with the vision of bank, the HR strategy is to meet training objectives set in light of Training Needs Assessment (TNA) procedures and train their employees for communication, quality service delivery, risk management, information technology, and other banking operations. These in-house training sessions are organized each year in the top metropolitan cities of Pakistan, such as Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, where the industry leaders and experts train the workers of Askari Bank.
Askari Bank’s human capital is awarded the most outstanding value to achieve their goal of the first choice bank of Pakistan.
The banking industry has been completely crossed over by technology. The retail banking is transforming globally and Askari Bank is a leader of this digital transformation in Pakistan. The recent example of Askari Bank’s digital transformation and automation is their partnership with Finastra for powering trade finance.
To enhance strategic and business cooperation, an MoU was signed between Askari Bank Limited and Huawei Technologies, on 20th November 2019 at Huawei’s Headquarters in Shenzhen, China, between the two organizations. Askari Bank also introduced Pakistan’s first EMV & NFC enabled UnionPay Debit Card, which provides enhanced security with and the convenience for the debit card users domestically as well as internationally in more than 162 countries over millions of ATMs. Similarly, the leading financial institution of Pakistan has collaborated with Pakistan International Airline (PIA) to launch a co-brand credit card, and with Bookme E-Tickets to offer convenient e-ticketing service to facilitate the consumers with their dynamic services.
Ever since Mr Abid Sattar took charge as the President of Askari Bank, the financial institution has gone through a major transformation and gaining confidence on the back of a strong brand, efficient processes, digitalization, competitive offerings and outreach, expanding client base and focus on service excellence. In a recent interview, Mr Sattar said, “Askari Bank is now ready to begin a new chapter in its history with plans to become a formidable player in the Pakistan Banking landscape.”
QUOTE: Askari Bank announced a post-tax profit of Rs. 8.21 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, showing strong growth of 87% over the corresponding period of last year. Earnings per share were reported at Rs. 6.50 compared to Rs. 3.48 for the same period last year, while the customer deposits increased by 13% and are reported at Rs. 764 billion.