Mobilink Microfinance Bank Ltd. (MMBL) and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the provision of a wide array of banking products, including digital banking solutions for the financing needs of LCCI member companies, particularly those belonging to the SME sector.
The MoU was signed by Ghazanfar Azzam, President & CEO MMBL, and LCCI’s President, Mian Tariq Misbah, at a ceremony in Lahore. LCCI Senior Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan, the business community, and representatives from commerce and trade bodies attended the event. It is LCCI’s first-of-its-kind arrangement with any microfinance bank in the country that will facilitate the LCCI members, especially those belonging to the SME sector, through the provision of innovative banking solutions on a priority handling basis.
Speaking on occasion, Ghazanfar Azzam, President & CEO, MMBL, said: “We are excited to work with the premier trade body in Pakistan, LCCI, for achieving the shared goal of stimulating growth and development of the SME sector that is a major contributor to Pakistan’s economy but remains financially underserved. For MMBL, this agreement comes as a validation of our efforts for developing a robust digital ecosystem for swift and hassle-free service delivery and access to groundbreaking banking solutions. I am positive that this newfound synergy will do wonders in supporting the SME sector and the national economy.”
LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said: “Being the premier business body of the country, Lahore Chamber is aware that inadequate access to finance is the biggest obstacle in the success of SMEs. According to estimates, there are more than 5.2 million SMEs in Pakistan which contribute around 40% to our GDP. It is worth mentioning that SMEs get only 7% of private sector credit in Pakistan while the number of SME borrowers is just around 180,000.”
He said that at present, several microfinance institutions are emerging in Pakistan operating under different banks and NGOs. It has been observed that new players in this field are gaining success.
Mian Tariq Misbah hoped that the top management of MMBL will take into consideration these observations while dealing with progressive entrepreneurs who are eager to move up on the ladder of success by availing the facility of microfinance.
“The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is glad to have MMBL on board to support our member companies through its innovative digital financial offerings”, the LCCI President said and added that it is a huge opportunity for LCCI members, especially those that operate in the SME sector, to become eligible for receiving prioritized and targeted financial services from the largest digital bank in the country through this groundbreaking MoU.
He said that the lack of access to financial services is a major impediment for SME businesses, particularly in remote areas. Realizing this pressing need, MMBL has introduced an extensive range of exclusive services and tailor-made solutions to bridge this gap and bring these businesses into the fold of financial inclusion. MMBL is especially committed to empowering women-led SMEs by including them in the financial landscape of Pakistan under its flagship program, Women Inspirational Network (WIN).