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LAHORE: The Bank of Punjab (BOP) signed an MoU with Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) under which BOP will become the first commercial bank to use PMIC’s Credit Enhancement Facility (CEF) for lending to microfinance institutions.

Under CEF, PMIC will provide credit guarantee to BOP for lending to MFIs across the country. Both entities will also jointly work on product development, syndication and offering advisory services to microfinance providers in the quest for improving financial inclusion across Pakistan.

Yasir Ashfaq (CEO – PMIC) and Farid Ahmed Khan (Group Chief Corporate and Investment Banking – BOP) signed the MoU. Senior leadership from both institutions witnessed the signing.

Speaking on the occasion, Yasir Ashfaq said “We have a long history of relationship with BOP and this MoU is part of our efforts to crowd in financing for the microfinance sector. The demand for credit is high as the clients are seeking funds to expand and re-establish their livelihoods after floods and the current economic slowdown. Together we can structure and execute innovative financing mechanisms to fulfil the unmet demand for financial services at the bottom of the pyramid.”

Farid Ahmed Khan said, “Financial inclusion and socially responsible banking make up the core of BOP’s vision. We are looking forward to expanding our coverage to microfinance sector through CEF-like joint offerings. The timing is critical as tough economic conditions are driving demand for financing, and liquidity is becoming scarce for the industry.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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