Islamic banking is bound to prosper in Pakistan in both letter and spirit.

Byline: Khalil Ahmed

To keep dominance in Islamic banking Meezan Bank bringing in more novel products with handy to younger generation

Interview with Mr Irfan Siddiqui - President and Chief Executive Officer, (Meezan Bank)

PAGE: Kindly tell us something about yourself and your organization:

Irfan Siddiqui: I am the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Meezan Bank. My educational background includes a Foundation Course in Accountancy from Sunderland, U.K. and I am a Fellow Chartered Accountant from Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales. I have served on a number of senior management positions including Chief Executive Officer at Al-Meezan Investment Bank Limited, as a General Manager at Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company, Manager Finance and Operation at Abu Dhabi Investment Company and Senior Business Analyst at Exxon Chemical (Pakistan) Ltd.

In 2002, Al-Meezan Investment Bank stepped into the domain of Islamic commercial banking through the acquisition of Pakistan operations of Societe Generale and was issued the first Islamic commercial banking license and Al-Meezan was renamed Meezan Bank Limited.

Meezan Bank was Pakistan's first Islamic bank offering products and services in line with the principles of Shariah. As we grew, we brought in new and innovative Riba-free products and solutions in an industry that was solely based on interest. Meezan Bank, however, took up the challenge and through determination, perseverance and hard work of a team of well-rounded members, managed to emerge as Pakistan's premier and largest Islamic bank offering Shariah-compliant banking products that are at par with conventional offerings in the country.

PAGE: Meezan Bank has been declared the best bank. Share your views, please:

Irfan Siddiqui: First and foremost I am immensely grateful to Allah (SWT) for bestowing us with such an honor and privilege. I do, off course owe a large portion of this achievement to my team and the people around me who have worked towards our Vision of 'Establishing Islamic banking as banking of first choice...' and dedicated their best efforts to achieve what we have achieved today. Meezan Bank's journey towards Islamic banking is merely 16 years old. We started off from just one small office in 2002 and a staff of 30 individuals. From a bank that started operations without first developing a financial feasibility, we have grown to become the 7th largest bank in the country in terms of deposits and...

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