Faysal Bank has left behind Askari Bank in terms of branch network with the investment in the expansion of its operations and services in 2020.
The bank is operating 555 branches in 200 cities of the county becoming the 11th biggest bank of the country. Its competitor, Askari Bank is now operating with 535 branches across the country.
Last year till September, Askari Bank was leading over Faysal Bank with branch network of 514 whereas Faysal Bank was operating with 487 branches.
Faysal Bank has more Islamic branches than conventional branches, unlike various other banks. It is operating with Islamic branches that constitute 75 percent of its operations along with 141 conventional banking branches. The bank has been working on a plan to convert all its operations to be Shariah-compliant and be the first transformed bank of its kind.
Askari Bank’s branch network consists of 484 conventional branches, 50 Islamic banking branches and a wholesale banking branch in Bahrain.
In Pakistan, 20% population has bank accounts that constitute its banked society. No doubt, digital banking is transforming the brick and mortars of the banking industry worldwide but branches remain one of the core strengths in the local banking system which maintains the penetration of a bank in terms of growth in depositors and borrowers.
Branches not only scale up the operations of the bank but also provide employment and financial literacy to the local residents and businessmen.
Financials Indicators of Banks
Askari Bank has clearly an edge over Faysal Bank in terms of financial indicators including its assets with a value of Rs. 868 billion, deposits of Rs. 699 billion, investment number of Rs. 339 billion and advances worth Rs. 381 billion by the end of March 2020.
On the other hand, Faysal Bank is far behind with asset value at Rs. 625 billion, deposits with Rs. 460 billion, investments of Rs. 215 billion and financing of Rs. 307 billion.
Surprisingly, Faysal Bank has made more profit than Askari Bank. In the first quarter of 2020, Faysal Bank reported a profit of Rs. 2 billion whereas Askari Bank recorded a profit of Rs. 1.85 billion in the same quarter.
The difference between the bottom lines of the two banks was obvious in 2020 because Askari Bank used to make more profit than Faysal Bank.
Askari Bank reported an annual profit of Rs. 7 billion in 2019 which is Rs.1 billion higher than Faysal Bank which made a profit of Rs. 6 billion in the same year.
The two banks are growing steadily with different strategies however, the competition between these banks is likely to intensify in many aspects going forward.
The banking industry is a highly competitive industry. The variation of banks’ ranking in terms of profitability and branch network is a rare phenomenon but it has increased in the past two years.