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The Bank of Punjab Joins SME Finance Forum

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LAHORE—The Bank of Punjab, a key player in Pakistan’s SME banking segment, has partnered with the SME Finance Forum (SMEFF), which is managed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). 

SMEFF is a global membership network dedicated to expanding access to finance for small and medium businesses worldwide. Notably, BOP is the only commercial bank in Pakistan that has achieved membership status with SMEFF.

 With approximately Rs. 2.2 trillion in assets and 815 branches across Pakistan, BOP has earned recognition for its excellence in SME banking.

The bank has received prestigious awards such as the ‘Best SME Bank in Pakistan’ at the 2024 Global SME Banking Innovation Awards, the AsiaMoney 2023 Awards, and the Pakistan Banking Awards in 2022 and 2023.

Mr. Zafar Masud, President & CEO of BOP, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration upon attaining the membership status. He said we are excited to enhance our commitment to empowering small and medium enterprises through our partnership with the SME Finance Forum. Together, we will leverage innovative financial solutions to create impactful opportunities for entrepreneurs and drive sustainable growth.

 Mr. Qamar Saleem, Head of SMEFF, welcomed BOP to its network, as a key player in SME banking, Bank of Punjab’s innovative practices in data usage, sustainability, digital solutions, and agriculture finance align perfectly with SMEFF’s mission to drive impact in emerging markets, he added.

Both BOP and SMEFF’s primary focus is to promote and accelerate the growth of SMEs. As a member, BOP will benefit from global best practices, product innovation, risk mitigation tools, and strategic partnerships to attract investment and gain recognition among a community of global innovators and partners. The forum offers “members-only” solutions such as innovation hubs and study tours, alongside public services that are of particular interest to BOP.

This partnership marks a significant milestone in BOP’s journey to foster sustainable economic development by supporting the SME sector, both locally and globally.

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