The banking industry is highly competitive in Pakistan, comprising 33 commercial banks that cover 20 percent of the banked population.
Bank Al-Habib, Bank Alfalah, and Meezan Bank are in close competition with their number of branches, deposits, assets, and profits, standing neck and neck in 2020.
In Pakistan, the term big five usually refers to Habib Bank Limited, United Bank Limited, National Bank Limited, and MCB Bank. The competition among these banks has been intense but the competition among banks between the ranks of 6 and 10 is also getting tougher.
Recently, Meezan Bank has leapfrogged two major banks—Bank Al Habib and Bank Alfalah.
Meezan Bank witnessed significant growth in its services and business
The bank left behind Bank Al-Habib and Bank Alfalah in terms of branches network and deposits mobilization, and profitability with the consistent expansion of services which also enhanced its penetration and customers and beneficiaries.
Branch Network Across Pakistan
The bank’s network surged to 760 branches in 223 cities across the country.
Bank Al-Habib’s branch network stands at 718 branches countrywide including 83 Islamic Banking Branches and 3 Overseas Branches, one each in Bahrain, Malaysia, and Seychelles). It has 37 sub-branches, and 4 Representative Offices that increased its presence (branches and sub-branches) close to 759.
On the other hand, the branches of Bank Alfalah operating across the country stand at 687 with 11 overseas branches, 1 representative office, and 3 booths.
Meezan bank added 100 branches in 2019 compared to Bank Al-Habib which grew its network by 34 branches and Bank Alfalah, which added 40 branches.
In terms of the human resources of these banks, Meezan Bank employs 11,649 staff members. It is followed by Bank Al Habib with 11,073 employees and Bank Alfalah with 10,234 employees.
With technology usage trending upwards and the emergence of digital technology, the business of banks does not solely rely on their branch networks. However, for penetration purposes, branches are still important since Pakistan has limited banked population and a financially illiterate society.
Deposits of Banks
The full-fledged Islamic bank also took a lead over its competing banks on deposit mobilization.
Meezan Bank’s deposits stood at Rs. 932 billion after the addition of Rs. 147 billion deposits in 2019. The deposits of the Bank Al-Habib reached Rs. 903 billion. It added deposits worth Rs. 106 billion in the said year.
Bank Alfalah mobilized deposits of Rs. 79 billion in 2019 through its conventional and Islamic banking units which increased its overall deposits to Rs. 782 billion.
Banks penetration through branches and its saving products play a vital role in the deposit mobilization of any bank. In this case, the Islamic bank could attract more deposits due to its Sharia-banking mode.
Investment and Financing
Bank Al-Habib stands ahead of Bank Alfalah and Meezan Bank when it comes to investment and financing or advances. Its investment in different venues stands at Rs. 586 billion and advances surged to Rs. 488 billion by the end of 2019.
Investments made by Bank Alfalah stand at Rs. 299 billion and advances surged to Rs. 511 billion by the end of 2019, according to its financial report.
Meezan Bank stood last among its peer banks. It made investments of Rs. 226 billion and its financing value stood at Rs. 494 billion by the end of 2019.
Assets of Banks
Bank Al Habib stood first among peer banks with assets value of Rs. 129 trillion, followed by Meezan Bank with Rs. 1.12 trillion. These two banks were added in the Rs. 1 trillion clubs of banks which also includes famous big five—HBL, UBL, ABL, NBP, and MCB Bank.
Bank Alfalah’s assets value stands at Rs. 901 billion by the end of 2019 and it’s on its way to being a part of the Rs 1 trillion banks league.
In terms of profitability, Meezan Bank took a lead with a profit of Rs. 15.23 billion with a year on year growth of 70 percent recorded in 2019.
Bank Alfalah’s profit value stands at Rs.12.69 billion with 19 percent year-on-year growth in the outgoing year. Bank Al Habib made a profit of Rs.11.1 billion with 35 percent year-on-year growth in 2019.
Intense Competition Next
The competition among these banks will be intensified on various fronts. Meezan Bank is likely to maintain its aggressive expansion spree in 2020 whereas Bank Al Habib rolled out a significant expansion plan of branches for 2020. Bank Alfalah is likely to gain share in the market with growth in Islamic banking and digital banking divisions.