Habib Overseas Bank Wiki

Habib Overseas Bank Wiki

Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s first Governor General, realized the importance of financial intermediation while he was campaigning for the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims. He persuaded the Habib family to establish a commercial bank that could serve the Muslim community. His initiative resulted in the creation of Habib Bank in 1941, with head office in Bombay (now Mumbai), and fixed capital of 25,000 rupees. The bank played an important role in mobilizing funds from the Muslim community to finance the All-India Muslim League’s campaign for the establishment of Pakistan. Habib Bank also played an important role in channeling relief funds to Muslims hurt in the communal riots and violence that preceded the departure of the British from British India and the subsequent partition.


After the formation of Pakistan in 1947, Habib Bank moved its headquarters to Karachi, Pakistan’s first capital, at the urging of Governor-General Jinnah. This gave Karachi its first commercial bank of the newly formed Pakistan.

The Habib family would own and manage the bank until the Pakistan government nationalized it on 1 January 1974.

On 13 June 2002, Pakistan’s Privatization Commission announced that the Government of Pakistan would grant the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), a subsidiary of the Aga Khan Development Network, majority ownership of HBL against an AKFED’s investment in the bank.[9]

In 2002, HBL’s UK operation came close to being shut down due to regulatory issues with the Financial Services Authority. The issue was resolved by converting the operations to a subsidiary. Then Habib Bank Limited and Allied Bank of Pakistan merged their operations (Habib contributed its 6 branches and Allied its 4 branches), into a new bank, called Habib-Allied International Bank, in which Habib Bank has a 90.5% shareholding, while Allied Bank has 9.5%.

In December 2003, the Government of Pakistan granted AKFED rights to 51% of the shareholding in the bank against an investment of PKR 22.409 billion (US$389 million).[10] In February 2004, Government of Pakistan handed over management control of Habib Bank to AKFED. The Board of Directors was reconstituted to have four AKFED nominees, including the Chairman and the President/CEO and three Government of Pakistan nominees.[11]

In 2013, the bank acquired Citibank Pakistan consumer business for ₨2 billion.[12]

In April 2015, the Government of Pakistan sold its 41.5% stake or 609 million shares in the bank for $1.02 billion.[13] According to the finance ministry, the strike price of Rs. 168 per share (compared to the floor price of Rs. 166 per share) was recommended by the Privatization Commission Board. The bank’s owners now comprise the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (51%) and the remaining 49% of shares are in free float. CDC Group holds 5% and the International Finance Corporation holds 3% while the rest of the shares are held by individuals, institutions and funds.[14]

In June 2015, the bank acquired Barclays’s Pakistan operations and absorbed the staff into the HBL.[15]

On 18 April 2016, HBL received license to operate a subsidiary in Ürümqi, Xinjiang, becoming the first Pakistani bank to operate in China.[16] It has become the first Pakistani bank and one of three banks from South Asia & MENA Region to open branches in China, with permission to trade in local currency, RMB. [17]

In February 2018, HBL appointed senior banker, Muhammad Aurangzeb (formerly CEO Global Corporate Bank – Asia Pacific at JP Morgan) as its President & CEO following early retirement of Nauman K. Dar on 31 December 2017, after the bank was marred by a penalty of $225 Million (USD) for its non-compliance with risk management and anti-money laundering rules.


In 2020, HBL was designated one of the domestic systemically important banks (D-SIB) of the year by the State Bank of Pakistan.[18]