State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad has shown optimism that academia can help improve financial literacy among students and the wider sections of society through innovative means.
Delivering the keynote address as the Chief Guest at the inauguration of the Finance Lab at the School of Business Studies (SBS), Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi, he pointed out that this is an area where regulators and academia can potentially partner and bridge the gap by working towards a common goal of inclusive growth.
SBS in collaboration with Alpha Capital Securities (Pvt) Ltd. has set up a Finance Lab at the Main Campus of IBA in line with its mission and as per Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation standards of providing quality education by offering innovative and technology-focused action learning opportunities.
The governor said that the Finance Lab should consider collaborating with related disciplines to conduct studies on business processes, market sizing, and value chain assessments of various products from the perspective of growth and innovation.
The governor also suggested collaborating with credit bureaus to test and create credit scoring models, especially those based on alternate data or otherwise aimed at the segment of individuals and businesses that have no collateral and little or no credit history. He said that the lab should also focus on increasing the awareness of individual savers across the country to understand the risks and returns associated with different avenues and increasing retail investments in government debt papers and corporate bonds.
He congratulated the management of IBA and hoped the lab would bridge the gap between industry and academia, and between theory and practice in the area of finance by providing students an opportunity to immerse themselves in real-world problems.
He stressed the need for establishing and strengthening a formal collaboration mechanism between academia and industry, for designing courses and setting a research agenda, which serves the objectives of both businesses and academia. He suggested that trade organizations should play an instrumental role in providing a consultative platform as well as arranging funds to finance academic research, given their ability to identify key areas of research, and pool in required resources.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Executive Director, IBA Karachi, Dr. Akbar Zaidi said the use of technology has revolutionized conventional financial education. He said the Finance Lab will play an instrumental role in inculcating financial literacy among the students, which is an integral component of the academic curriculum.