Stan Chart delves into partnership.
Uganda`s oldest commercial bank the Standard Chartered has gone into a partnership to provide banking solutions for the Pakistani SME business community in Uganda . Announcing the partnership at a breakfast held at the Kampala Serena hotel on November 3,2012, the bank`s SME business head Liz Mwerinde said there was a need for a stronger relationship between the bank and the Pakistani community in Uganda .
The partnership stems from a need to ensure and adopt pure Islamic banking solutions to the community in line with their religious principles. Standard chartered which has 140 branches in Pakistan targets emerging markets and is committed to providing innovative banking solutions based on Shariah principles for the global Pakistani community.
“Our relationship with Pakistan goes way back to the 19th century when the first Pakistan family settled in Uganda and now with this partnership we are better placed as a bank to provide banking solutions with a presence of 12 branches spread across the country,” she said. Dr Ahmad Musawar the representative of the Pakistani business community in Uganda lauded the bank for the move saying the community would benefit a great deal from such services. According to Musawar the Pakistani community in Uganda is well established with over 300 families living in the country mostly involved in the pharmaceutical industry with investments such as Alsheefa hospital in Jinja, clinics, car dealerships as well as a steel mill in Lugazi.
“We also have a lot of Pakistani people working with non-governmental organizations like the UN, Save the Children and USAID in Uganda,” added Musawar. “Standard Chartered bank’s project of financing SME’s will provide essential services for the kind of businesses we invest in,” he said. He said the community has vast interests in agriculture, veterinary services, steel industry as well as mining.
According to officials from the bank, SME‘s need assurance from financial institutions in terms of working capital, business expansion yield enhancement as well as business protection solutions that the bank has committed to providing. The partnership comes barely a month after Standard Chartered was named EMEA financial awards’ bank of the year for the fourth consecutive year and celebrated 100 years of existence in Uganda. The bank boasts of being the first international bank to get a license to do Islamic banking. Standard Chartered employs 4500 people in Pakistan alone.