Established in the Indo-Pak sub-continent in 1941 at the behest and the blessings of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Au Jinnah, just one year after the passing of the Lahore Resolution, the bank had to meet a formidable challenge to overcome deep-seated prejudice and shatter the myth that the Muslims of the sub-continent were totally alien to the field of banking.
The bank rose to the occasion to provide a nucleus that was to nurse the edifice of Muslim banking in the subcontinent. In order to achieve this objective a special scheme was introduced to impart training to young Muslim graduates so that they could take over the banking industry of Pakistan. It was this training that today in almost every banking house in the country the officers trained by Habib Bank Ltd. are enjoying top positions.
In 1946, the leaders of the Pakistan Movement, especially Quaid--e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah recognised the services of the bank, patronized it and entrusted the accounts of Bihar Relief Fund, and the Muslim League Silver Bullet Fund and the Election Fund.
In 1947, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Au Khan in a message said: “It is the biggest Muslim Bank in India and during its short life has done great pioneering work by inculcating the Banking habit among Muslims and by training Muslim youth in Banking in India and abroad”. While wishing every success to Habib Bank, he hoped that it would continue to play an impor-tant and useful role in the industrial and commercial life of the Muslim Nation.
After partition, Habib Bank’s Head Office was transferred from Bombay to Karachi. The Bank acted as the major agency for the transfer of funds held by thousands of Muslims in India. The Bank placed all its resources at the disposal of the Government and subs-cribed heavily to the Government Securities. The mass migration of the trained Hindu Bank Cadre to India resulted in the closure of some 400 branches out of a total of 631 in Pakistan. Habib Bank again rose to surmount this challenge by deploying trained officers of the bank to other banking institutions. Banking facilities were rapidly expanded by providing 450 branches. Scores of innovative schemes and services were introduced by Habib Bank for the first time in the country. Some of these included Electronic and Compu-ter Banking. Inland and International Teleprinter Services, Drive-in banking, Evening Banking, Rupee and Visa Travelers Cheques, School Banking, Lockers and Safe Deposit Vaults, Foreign Currency Accounts, Infants Saving Schemes, Autocash Teller Machines, Credit Cards, Free Hajj Services, Sponsored Scholarships, etc. The Prize Savings Account Scheme of the bank was such a success that the bank was conferred the American Gold Coin Award in 1975. Simi-larly, an International Gold Mercury Award was awarded to the bank in 1982 for its pioneering role in banking.
The Bank celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 1966 with great zeal and fervour. The President of Pakistan, Governors, Ministers, Bankers, Industrialists and Businessmen from all over the world enthusiastically eulogized the bank’s achievements and meritorious services. Besides over 2000 foreign correspondents, Habib Bank today operates 1846 branches in Pakistan and 67 Overseas Branches in Far East, South Asia, Middle East, U.K., U.S.A., Europe and Africa, apart from Representative Offices, Affiliates, Subsidiaries, Offshore Banking Units in major business centres of the world.
The Phenomenal growth of Habib Bank is amply reflected from its Capital Structure. Today its Authorised Capital stands at Rs. 5000 million, Paid-up Capital and Reserves exceed Rs. 6418 million, Deposits exceed Rs. 120,680 million, Total Assets exceed Rs. 228,799 million, Number of Account Holders over 9.7 million.
Habib Bank renders manifold banking services at the global level. Some of the services offered include: Home Remittances, Consortium Financing, Syndicate Loaning, Foreign Currency Accounts, Sale/Purchase of FEBCs, FIBs, Export/Import Financing, Working Capital Finance, Merchant and Offshore Banking, World Bank, I.D.A. and A.D.B. CREDIT LINE.
(Contributed by: Habib Bank Ltd., Karachi).
To commemorate the Golden Jubilee Habib Bank Limited, Pakistan Post Office, is issuing a set of two commemorative postage stamps of Re. 1/- and Rs. 5/- denominations on August 25, 1991.