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September 8, 2018

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JS Bank prepares for SBP’s low-cost housing finance push

KARACHI: JS Bank Limited (JSBL) is gearing up to take advantage of a new opportunity to increase its mortgage book, as the draft policy on low-cost housing finance will likely be approved by the central bank soon, the bank’s top executive said on Friday.

The bank was able to tap increased demand for corporate loans and big enterprise loans in previous years. However, it started giving more consideration to consumer loans, lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), medium-sized enterprises (MEs), and other areas of lending such as agriculture since last year, Basir Shamsie, JSBL’s chief executive officer told reporters.

Highlighting the bank’s future strategy, Shamsie said, “The bank is bullish to capitalise on the SBP’s eagerness for increased mortgage lending by banks to narrow housing deficit in the country.”

Speaking of expanding the consumer base, he added, “We want to continue expanding our consumer, SMEs

and agriculture loan portfolios in future. We secure

6-7th position in home lending by volume across the industry.”

Besides, the bank plans to strengthen its digital banking segment by introducing convenient payment solutions for the customers.

“We expect higher growth in mortgages in the coming years, driven by computerised land records in the two provinces, and due to rising real estate prices,” he added.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) revealed in July it will introduce a subsidised financing facility for low-cost housing by providing liquidity to the financial institutions at subsidised rate.

The bank is also providing financing facility to build schools and hospitals, which most mainstream banks are usually reluctant to do, he informed.

Presently, the Islamic banking business is not on the bank’s radar. A mid-tier JSBL has no plans to get into merger and acquisition activities in near-future. The bank prefers to grow organically, Shamsie revealed.

The bank, in its half-year financial statement said it exceeded its SBP-assigned agriculture credit target with a clean portfolio, paving the way for sustainable expansion in the coming year.

The bank lent Rs10 billion to farmers in the last fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the bank in a statement on the same day stated that it has 322 branches in 160 cities and one international branch in Bahrain, staffed by over 5,000 employees.

This translates into a new branch being opened

practically every fortnight, it said.

JS Bank’s equity has risen to Rs16.7 billion while profit before tax stands at Rs1.1 billion as of June 30, 2018.

JS Bank remains fully compliant with the Capital Adequacy Requirement (CAR) of the SBP while limiting the non-performing loans

(NPL) ratio to less than two percent.

Its’ paid-up capital is above Rs15 billion.

JSBL’s CEO also spoke on how the bank is amongst the top five banks when it comes to a variety of customer focused offerings including SME, home and auto loans. “Considerable efforts are also being made in the sphere of youth development, entrepreneurship clean energy and agriculture lending,” he added.

JS Bank is amongst the top banks in the Prime Minister Youth Business Loan (PMYBL) program.

Alliances with leading companies such as Careem, Engro and Nestle have allowed JS Bank to give ordinary people the means to earn a decent livelihood.

Other innovative offerings launched include JS Gold Finance where people can just walk into a branch, pledge their gold ornaments and walk out with cash within just 100 minutes.

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