STAFF REPORT KHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has gained international recognition for its regulatory role in microfinance and branchless banking by making an enabling environment for their development in Pakistan.

According to an international media report, the World Bank has praised SBP for its innovative approaches in expanding the access to financial services for the unbanked and underserved population of the country.

“Pakistan has one of the best regulatory environments in the world for microfinance and one of the fastest-growing microfinance sectors, with 3 million borrowers,” it explained.

The central bank has been playing a chief role while working meticulously with the industry through various policy and strategic initiatives to transform the financial market into an equitable system of efficient market-based financial services to the hitherto excluded poor and marginalized segments of the society.

All microfinance banks (MFBs) are privately owned by local and international investors including banks, development agencies, investment funds, mobile network operators, and large domestic Microfinance Institutions (MFIs). This diversity of ownership and approaches depicts confidence in policy consistency and viability of microfinance sector.

The agent network now exceeds 30,000 and is currently processing nearly 10 million transactions each month, and the growth continues quickly.

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