Sources in the banking industry said the cellular operator company has completed the transaction of bank’s assets and possession of property against handsome deal. The deal price has not been disclosed so far.
The asset transaction is being under review by State Bank of Pakistan, which will give a go-ahead signal to the bank for starting branchless banking.
It is pertinent to mention here that Rozgar Microfinance Bank is based in Karachi with four branches and five service centers located in different part of the city.
PTCL, the parent company of Ufone, demanded SBP earlier not to involve as banking regulator in the presence of telecom regulator, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
But SBP rejected its suggestion citing concerns that the demand might create disturbance in banking system including illegal money transfer channels.
Ufone, its subsidiary, approached SBP a few months ago for the license of branchless banking but it was advised to acquire a bank with considerably good presence in the market.
Ufone management followed the advised of SBP for quick launch and penetration of services in the highly competitive market where players like Telenor and UBL are already working whereas new entrants have also started their services recently including Waseela of Mobilink and Bank Teleco of Zong.
Initially the cellular company decided to acquire bank’s major stakes but it bought complete bank after negotiation with the management of Rozgar Microfinance Bank on handsome deal price.
The cellular company at present is hiring top-notch bankers, regional heads and board of directors to launch branchless banking aggressively throughout the country.
As soon as Ufone hires top brass for its bank, the SBP will approve appointments of all major heads before allowing bank to commence services as pilot project and then full-fledged branchless banking.