Karachi: Waseela Microfinance Bank is likely to commence its nationwide banking operations in the upcoming weeks subsequently the central bank has granted it permission for the launch of its commercial services.
Waseela Microfinance Bank is a subsidiary of M/s. Orascom Telecom Holdings (OTH) Egypt, which is parent company of Mobilink. It was granted license of microfinance bank earlier in November 2011.
The OTH had bought license of bank against Rs 0.25 million and fulfilled all mandatory to declare its worth Rs 1 billion infrastructure and asset for bank as per requirement. The group total investment has reached $3.9 billion so far in Pakistan particularly through Mobilink and Bank.
Industry people said that Waseela management has completed its all operations a couple of months earlier but it was waiting for go-ahead signal from banking regulator, which was carrying out bank’s pre-commencement operations.
The bank has recently hired Ghazanfar Azzam as it CEO and appointed board members deputed from Mobilink and Orascom Telecom Holdings.
Moreover, the company has prepared its proper branding, advertising and marketing strategy for proper launching of the banking network. It has almost completed all homework for kick off its operations very soon.
Orascom Telecom Holding is considered telecom giant in the world with exclusive expertise of engaging investors and trading stakes in global conglomerates and equity markets.
Experts in the banking sector said that OHT through its subsidiary Waseela Microfinance Bank has capacity to introduce new model in branchless and microfinance banking. In addition to this, it has largest subscriber base and franchises and retail agents network throughout the country, which is an edge for it over different operators.
Mobilinks’ sales and support network that stretched well in rural and far flung areas of the country will support it to compete with its rival to offer branchless home and international remittance and saving services to consumers with limited income.
Experts believed that the commencement of new microfinance bank will also lead to the increased provision of inclusive financial services in the rural and remote areas of the country.
The commencement of business of Waseela Microfinance Bank will result in a significant increase in the market share of regulated microfinance banks (MFBs) within the overall microfinance sector.
Waseela will become the 7th Microfinance Bank (MFB) to operate on nationwide basis whereas two MFBs are operating at district level presently.