SBP to enhance banking services


The State Bank of Pakistan is committed to use all possible means to make the banking services accessible to all segments of the society.
This was stated by the Managing Director, SBP Banking Services Corporation, Qasim Nawaz while inaugurating a two-day Banking Exhibition at Gujranwala Friday.
He highlighted various initiatives taken or being taken by the State Bank to facilitate the underserved sectors of the economy in the field of agriculture, SME and microfinance which are as under:
Ongoing review of policy and regulatory environment to promote SME, agriculture and micro finance as a viable and mainstream business activity for banking industry; (SBP is also undertaking review of existing Prudential Regulations for SME Financing, to develop separate PRs for ‘Small Enterprises’ & ‘Medium Enterprises’. When implemented, this exercise would facilitate small enterprises’ access to bank credit and consequently raise their share in banks’ loans).
Introduction of Credit Guarantee Scheme for Small & Rural Enterprises(CGS) to share credit risk with banks (up to 40 per cent) with the objective of increasing banks’ lending in neglected sectors. Around 2,000 accounts have been issued guarantee under CGS. Rs925 million have been disbursed to Small and Rural enterprises under CGS and SBP shares risk worth Rs392.5 million with commercial banks for their lending to this sector.
Introduction of Microfinance Credit Guarantee Facility for resolving liquidity problems for Microfinance Banks/Microfinance Institutions. Ten MFBs/MFIs have been provided funding facilities worth Rs2.8 billion under the scheme by banks. SBP BSC has provided guarantee cover of Rs805 million for the lending by commercial banks to MFB/MFIs.
Introduction of Refinance Scheme for Modernization of SMEs. Introduction of Refinance Scheme for Agriculture Produce Storage Construction. Crash training program for the SME and agriculture credit officers of banks. Special capacity building programs for MFBs/MFIs and Islamic banks are also in the pipeline. Launch of eCIB for MFIs to assess the credit worthiness and to avoid over indebtedness of small borrowers.
Establishment of SME, Agri and Micro Finance Focus Groups at BSC field offices across the country to strengthen the consultative mechanism in policy formulation and implementation.
Initiation of surveys and studies of different regions (Furniture industry and Rice husking industry surveys of Gujranwala region are planned this year). These studies will enable banks and SBP to make their policies, initiatives and products more responsive to the market needs. Development of linkages with all the key stakeholders both at country level as well as the district level to adopt a collaborative strategy to facilitate the entrepreneurs and rural communities, in accessing financial services from banks.
Organising SME, Micro, Agri and Islamic Seminars, workshops, exhibitions and funfairs in cities and rural areas in collaboration with banks, SMEDA, and provincial agricultural, livestock departments to create awareness amongst the stakeholders at grassroots level about financial services. Qasim expressed the hope that the Banking Exhibition at Gujranwala would go a long way in improving access to finance to the lower segment of the borrowers of the region.