First Women Bank Ltd.
Where women take the lead
14 years of successful operation
Dare to dream
The extent of the financial crisis at FWBL
in 2001 would
have had grown men crying. Fortunately, the new
management was made of sterner stuff
2001 financial records of First Women Bank Limited were a banker's
illustration of Murphy's Law. It wasn't only
the fact that business was bad and profits were a meagre 26 million-rupees
for the year 2000. With a capital of just Rs 200 million, the
bank was sitting on losses worth a whopping Rs 138m. Further,
pending tax assessments for the years 1995-98 represented another
Rs 288m threat to the equity base. Without a trained middle-level
management, management systems or an IT system to link the 38
branches, six senior executives scrambled to manually run the
entire bank. When the credit rating agency PACRA alerted the bank
with a 'speculative' long-term rating, no one was surprised. First
Women Bank Limited was clearly on its way out. But two and a half
years later, the bank has miraculously shown a clean balance sheet
and Rs 269m in profits, an increase of more than 935 percent.
And the critics want to know-how.
determination and our collective belief in the model," answers
bank president Zarine Aziz. "We knew that there was no other
alternative and that no one else would step in to rescue us."
Previously the bank's general manager for the Punjab, even Aziz
had no idea of how bad the situation was till she sat at her new
desk. Established in
1989, FWBL was supposed to cater to the special economic needs
of women. Over the years, however, weak institutional capacity
as well as a deficiency of human resource eroded the bank's linkages
with the target community. In 1996, imprudent forex transactions
left the discredited management holding a Rs 319m bill till regulator
State Bank of Pakistan bailed them out with a Rs 200m loan. In
order to prevent incidents of this nature, the Privatisation Commission
hit the bank with an embargo on its credit disbursement activities.
The branch expansion programme, recruitment plans and upward revisions
in pay scales were also axed. With its hands thus tied, the bank
was forced to park its funds with either other banks or in the
low-yielding government securities. Predictably, the bank fell
into dire financial straits.
to cut its losses, the government put the bank up for privatisation
in 1997. Although this decision was subsequently reversed in March
2001 by the government of General Pervez Musharraf, the damage
had already been done. In the face of stagnant salaries and uncertainty
regarding the bank's future, some of the best talent moved elsewhere.
At a time when the bank desperately needed well-qualified and
experienced bankers, there were few to be had. And unlike other
NCBs, FWBL was not accorded the luxury of consultants in shining
armour. At the insistence of SBP Governor Dr Ishrat Husain, however,
the presidents of the five NCBs, which were the major shareholders
in the bank, were brought back to the board of directors.
were advised to hire consultants to develop the business plan
but we had no money," remembers Aziz. At the first meeting
of the board in August 2001, Dr. Ishrat Husain set up two committees
to help FWBL with restructuring. One was to assist the bank with
recruitment while the other was to help formulate the business
plan. Using suggestions provided by the committee as the starting
point, the chief financial officer of FWBL, the head of audit
and Aziz sat together to develop a business plan for the bank.
"My only exposure to anything resembling a business plan
was a project proposal I'd put together as a member of the task
force in the Punjab," she laughs. "However, we knew
the bank, its strengths and weaknesses far better than any outsider
said, things weren't quite as simple. Making money was critical
to the independent existence of the bank. The institution was
not intended as a welfare agency but as a dynamic financial intermediary.
However, mobilising resources and intelligently managing funds
to secure healthy returns were not the only issues. The focus
on women development was an integral part of the agenda and the
charter of the FWBL clearly envisaged the institution simultaneously
functioning as a developmental agency. The challenge was to reconcile
the two objectives: to economically empower women while making
the planners discovered, the single challenge of twin objectives
spawned a host of other obstacles. First of all, capital of Rs
200m can only take one so far and no more. In order to improve
outreach and impact, the bank needed to enhance its paid-up capital
to one billion rupees. This would give them the ability to leverage
their balance sheet to the greater advantage of their intended
beneficiaries, besides being in line with SBP's directives for
a more judicious deployment of existing resources was required
to improve profitability. Government securities and credit lines
to other banks were the safest investment option but did not allow
FWBL to make healthy returns comparable to those offered on, say,
corporate loans. Projecting further, while the conservative lending
strategy succeeded in keeping the advances portfolio from becoming
infected, it subverted both the commercial as well as the developmental
objectives of the bank. The key was then to devise systems and
mechanisms that would allow the bank to intelligently assess and
manage risk while making credit decisions.
the ambitious mission statement spoke of a bank, which was "dynamic,
adaptive and responsive to the special economic needs of women"
and offered "the
best financial services and the best banking practices".
In order to achieve this goal, the bank required professionals
sensitive to the needs to women. Thus was born the target of human
resource development and the training of 200 bankers.
these ground realities in mind, the management set to formulating
a business plan. The three-pronged strategy that finally emerged
looked to strengthen operations, improve management systems and
focus on women development. "It took us six months to fine-tune
the plan but we had to sequence it right," reminds Aziz.
The final plan was target-specific and, most importantly, doable.
the first phase of the restructuring, qualified professionals
were brought on board to head the newly minted divisions of audit,
credit, finance, planning & operations, marketing as well
as treasury. Where experienced women were not available, Aziz
successfully inducted a few men in the hitherto all-women bank.
This also succeeded in establishing a culture of meritocracy.
To prevent making the mistakes of the past, financial planning
& discipline as well as internal checks and balances were
introduced into the system.
order to institutionalise work methodologies, guidelines and manuals
on audit, credit and treasury as well as credit and investment
policies and procedures were devised and implemented. Lending
was stratified according to type: corporate, SME and micro credit.
For the first time in the bank's history, it finally had a committee
- the Asset & Liability Management Committee - solely responsible
for exploring new avenues for fund deployment.
risk management division set up in May 2003 was responsible for
managing risk and spread, a critical measure in the face of inadequate
credit expertise at the branches. In order to provide technical
support to the branches as well as retain control on credit decisions
and risk assessments, the planners decided to centralise operations
by setting up a credit pool at the head office. And a brand-new
MIS system with fully integrated software was rendered operational.
So far 25 branches have been fully computerised and the entire
network will be computerised by end March 2004.
improve the financial performance of the bank, the team identified
key indicators and set to revamping them. A concerted lending
strategy was launched and by the end of 2003, advances had shot
up from Rs 604m in 2000 to Rs 1,308m. The infected loan portfolio
was reduced from Rs 129m in 2000 to Rs 95m in 2003. The bank took
healthy provisions against bad loans. Realising that the bank
was haemorrhaging cash on high cost deposits, the management consciously
tapped into current and savings accounts. "Since remaining
competitive was important, we focused on improving customer services
and marketing instead of merely luring depositors by offering
higher rates. As a result, we succeeded in bringing back old clients
of bank," explains Aziz. "We incentivised our team by
offering them a percentage of the profits. The strategy paid off
and we managed to pare down our cost of deposits from 6.2 per
cent in 2001 to the current 2.3 per cent." Syndicated financing
was another new area the bank started looking into for improving
the time, the products of the bank also came to reflect a certain
women-centric ethos. Broadly divided into four categories - micro
finance, SMEs, corporate and support services - each product is
customised according to the needs of the client. Today, the micro
finance portfolio, which is a development and support initiative,
accounts for more than 76 per cent of total borrowers and is the
star performer at FWBL. The micro-loan amount varies from Rs 5,000
to Rs 100,000. Over the last 14 years, 26,648 borrowers have availed
loans of Rs 7.1 billion. Of these, 20,450 borrowers have been
bank has simultaneously generated employment for 1,007 million
beneficiaries. "We inspire women to dream," says Aziz.
credit policies are unique in that they are designed to encourage
asset ownership by women," says Aziz. Even male-owned businesses
that look towards FWBL for funding have to ensure a woman as an
equal partner. "By insisting on this requirement, we are
securing women both legally and financially."
loans are another example of pro-asset creation policies. That
a house can represent the greatest
a woman has is something FWBL understands. So at a mark-up rate
of just nine per cent, a woman can borrow anywhere between 0.2
million-rupees to 7.5 million-rupees to buy a house. "We
introduced car loans and educational loans, for example, because
we understand that the environment for women is changing. Today,
mobility and education are crucial to the advancement of a woman's
career," explains Aziz. Last year, the bank launched banking
courses for its bankers and 44 employees have already been put
through the programme.
not enough to just provide an entrepreneur with cash," she
insists. A woman who is going into business requires far greater
levels of support. "The objective is to empower them by providing
help where they need it in order to grow their business."
bank has several such support initiatives under its belt. The
first two were the women business centre and the computer literacy
centre, which were launched in 1994 and 1999 respectively. The
former is aimed at
to provide women with skill training, helping them identify business
opportunities and tap into existing resources. Further, the programme
helped women develop linkages and network, essential components
of running a business. The computer literacy centre sought to
provide the urban poor with access to the technology that would
improve their job prospects. To date, 4,857 women entrepreneurs
have been developed while 6,364 women have been given computer
on with the tradition of support services, the bank has recently
launched a financial services desk. Covering aspects such as credit
management, trade finance, legal counselling, tax consultancy
as well as marketing, the in-house facility provides women professionals
with support in core areas where they lack expertise or understanding.
Meanwhile, the bank is also developing a business women's directory,
a database that will allow women to network with each other and
share the benefits of their experiences. "There is not enough
data available on women borrowers," complains Aziz. "As
a result, it becomes hard to research trends and determine outreach.
Besides, this effort also ties in neatly with the government's
objective of documentation of the economy."
is this attitude, which distinguishes the bank from its competition.
"We have a niche market - women - and we want to partner
with them and encourage them to do the best they're capable of,
for themselves as well as the greater social good," says
Aziz. She proudly narrates the example of Depilex - Smileagain,
the first burns rehabilitation centre for women in Pakistan. "There
have been some 3,600 cases of burn victims since 1996 and very
few government hospitals have adequately equipped burn units.
So when the owner of the beauty salon Depilex, Masarrat Misbah,
came to us with this proposal, we jumped to partner with her,"
reveals Aziz. With funding from FWBL, the centre flew in a team
of surgeons from Italy who have successfully operated on 10 burns
victims so far.
the FWBL way is not about foisting loans on reluctant clients
but about selling a lifestyle," says Aziz. "The model
of FWBL is designed for women at all levels of economic activity.
To our mind, a micro-borrower of today is a potential SME client
of tomorrow. And it's up to us to make them realise their dreams
of making it big." In line with this stated objective, the
bank continues to aggressively expand its core customer base of
women borrowers and depositors. In the last two-and-a-half years,
the amount of financing provided either to women or to women-owned
enterprises, has increased from Rs 430m to Rs 858m, an increase
of almost 100 percent. Meanwhile, the number of women borrowers
as a percentage of total borrowers has increased from 71 per cent
to 87 per cent. Even the number of women account-holders has risen
from 59,297 to 71,022.
was this dedication and commitment to a larger social cause that
caught the eye of international agencies. Initially impressed
by the financial services desk, CIDA volunteered financial assistance
to the tune of Rs 24m for three years and committed to run the
desks at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The agency also undertook
the training of 200 women bankers.
ILO became another convert to the FWBL way of thinking and approached
the bank for a strategic alliance. "We joined hands with
ILO-IPEC and were committed to eliminating child labour from the
carpet-weaving industries in the districts of Hafizabad, Sheikhupura
and Gujranwala," narrates Aziz. "We identified viable
income-generating projects for the mothers of such children, equipped
them with adequate skills and disbursed small loans to help them
either become self-employed or set up micro enterprises."
As usual, the bank provided financial as well as non-financial
support such as the identification of 42 potential microbusinesses.
The project was launched in 66 villages and disbursed 5.4 million-rupees
among 846 families. And again, the strategy paid rich dividends.
"In the short span of one year, we've successfully managed
to wean the poor families off exploitation of child labour. And
our recovery rate is an unprecedented 100 per cent," exults
two-and-a-half years - between May 2001 and December 2003 - the
management has achieved the financial turnaround its detractors
said was impossible. The bank repaid the SBP loan in July 2001,
and due to the intervention of Federal Finance Minister Shaukat
Aziz and CBR, received a tax refund of Rs 237 m in July 2002.
In April 2003, the bank wiped out the entire brought forward losses
as of December 2000 of Rs 139m. This was despite the fact that
the bank took on the additional burden of provisioning Rs 30m
for the year 2000.
the bank is back in the black and looks poised for exponential
growth. From Rs 2.2m a month in 2000, average pre-tax profits
have shot up to Rs 22.4m in 2003. The net equity has jumped from
Rs 110m to Rs 629m,
an increase of more than 472 per cent. Investments, too, have
soared from Rs 2,399m to Rs 7,483m. Meanwhile, the bank made fresh
credit disbursements worth Rs 2,083m and renewals worth Rs 713m,
making for a total of Rs 2,796m. And the icing on the cake is
the fact that the loans classified as overdue are worth a meagre
Rs 1.9m, just 0.09 per cent of the total fresh disbursements.
Small wonder then that net profit has ballooned by an astounding
Rs 269m, an increase of 935 percent. At present, earnings per
share after tax stand at Rs 8.03, a huge jump from the 2000 value
of Rs 2.07. Finally comfortable, the management has shifted to
new head office, which symbolises the many milestones crossed
on the path of financial sustainability and strength. Clearly,
the strategic direction and strategies taken in the turbulent
2001 have paid off.
the management is not resting on its laurels just as yet. The
bank is continuously restructuring itself in line with established
banking norms while maintaining its women-oriented focus and adapting
to the changing environment within the banking industry. "Industry
wide, margins are waning. Banks are now competing on technology
and marketing skills," says Aziz. "Fortunately, our
focus is in sync with current government's priorities such as
consumer and agricultural credit as well as lending to micro and
apart from the business issues are regulatory matters. With the
SBP playing a dynamic and proactive role as regulator, the onus
is now on the banks. "There is a lot of emphasis on the corporate
code of governance and on risk management. Under the institutional
risk assessment framework which will be implemented from this
quarter onwards, we will be under a lot of pressure to deliver
on various counts," worries Aziz. If the implementation of
the KIBOR as a financial services benchmark is any indication,
banking in Pakistan is rapidly acquiring greater sophistication.
are, of course, certain challenges specific to FWBL. For example,
although the SBP has deferred the one-billion-rupees paid-up capital
requirement for the time being, the management is still working
to this end. On the cards are online e-banking and ATM connectivity
though a strategic alliance with MCB. "We've taken the first
step in making ourselves a force to reckon with in the sphere
of women-oriented banking. But our ultimate target is to be the
natural choice for all women to bank with," concludes Aziz.
Women Bank Ltd. UAN:(021)111-676-767, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister for Finance &
am happy to learn that the First Women Bank Ltd has completed
its 14th successful year of operation on December 2, 2003.
the year 2001 till date, FWBL has achieved excellent financial
turnaround in the form of the highest ever profits and balance
sheet growth. The bank in 2003, once again accomplished the highest
results in all key components over the last 14 years, despite
constraints, tough market competition and adverse economic conditions.
bank's deposits increased from
Rs 3.4 billion (Dec 2000) to 8.1 billion in year 2003 (reflecting
growth of 139%). Advances enhanced from Rs 604 million (Dec 2000)
to Rs 1.3 billion (reflecting growth of 117%). Profit increased
from Rs 26 million (Dec 2000) to Rs 269 million (reflecting growth
net equity increased from Rs 110
million (Dec 2000) to Rs 629 million in year 2003 (reflecting
growth of 472%).
entire loss of Rs 138 million (Dec 2000) has been wiped of in
government has provided an enabling atmosphere to the financial
sector to play its role in the economic development. Far-reaching
reforms introduced by the State Bank and the SECP, have inducted
transparency, promoted efficiency and have encouraged the bank
to package and market consumer friendly products to promote real
estate, consumer goods and automobile sector. The First Women
Bank Limited could play its role by encouraging women to become
equal development partners through enterprise and entrepreneurship.
The First Women Bank Limited should, therefore, design women-specific
products to generate self-employment among the women.
establishment of FWBL is in fact a reflection of the fact that
women entrepreneurs deserve credit, based on their merits and
ability to pay and the right to credit is the right of every woman
FWBL should, therefore, encourage women entrepreneurship in agriculture,
small and medium enterprises, consumer items and house finance.
It should encourage women's partnership through professional consultancy
to promote itself as career women support system to become an
enviable financial outfit and set precedents for others to follow.
the end, I am sure that the First Women Bank Ltd will grow from
strength to strength.
Minister for Education
immensely pleased to learn that the First Women Bank Ltd (FWBL)
has completed its 14 years of successful operation. Its vision
to be the lead Bank for women: dynamic, adaptive and responsive
to their special economic needs, offering the best financial services
and the best banking practices, is being realised. Its establishment
was the need of the hour for the socio-economic uplift of the
women folk who constitute half of our population. FWBL thus became
the pioneer in helping the Pakistani women, in their personal
as well as collective economic prosperity through exclusive as
well as innovative banking facilities. The financial turn over,
increased deposits, advances and profits during recent years speak
of the dynamism and dedication of the management team in general
and the leadership of Ms Zarine Aziz in particular. I wish all
success and prosperity to FWBL in the days to come.
State Bank of Pakistan
he 14th anniversary of the First Women Bank Limited is a milestone
in the history of the Bank. I am pleased to learn that the Management
of FWBL is celebrating it in a befitting manner.
a country like Pakistan where female literacy and female labour
force participation have lagged behind times, innovative interventions
have to be put in place to overcome the constraints facing our
female population. One such intervention was to establish the
First Women Bank Limited with the aim to bringing women entrepreneurs
of the country to the mainstream of economic growth.
am confident that in the years to come, FWBL will be more proactive
to meet the credit and investment needs of women entrepreneurs
of the country.
wish the Management of FWBL all the success in its endeavours.
to the Prime Minister and
In charge, Ministry of Women Development, Social
and Special Education
is indeed heartening to know that the First Women Bank Ltd has
been making strides to prove itself as one of the successful banks
in the public sector. The Bank is undertaking all forms of business
of a banking company in a manner designed to meet the special
needs of women and encouraging and assisting them in promoting
trade, industry and practice of professions. The performance of
the First Women Bank Ltd. during the first three years of the
new century is commendable. I am sure the Bank will keep the same
pace of progress with still better results in the years to come.
hope the Bank will extend its out-reach programme to the rural
areas and will introduce new products focusing on serving the
poorest of the poor women.
of Directors FWBL
Chairperson First Women Bank Ltd
Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd
Amar Zafar Khan
Bank of Pakistan Ltd.
Ministry of Women Development
of Ali Raza
Bank of Pakistan,
on behalf of Board
of Directors, FWBL
It gives me much
pleasure to see First Women Bank Limited progressing. I, on
behalf of the
Board of Directors,
commend the dedication
aimed at the growth of the Bank. The prudent approach of Ms Zarine
Aziz and her team
has made the FWBL a respected financial institution.
I am confident
that a large number of women entrepreneurs would benefit from
the financial services being provided by the Bank and will become
active participants of business in a more professional and
rural woman makes her move
through ILO-IPEC/FWBL partnership
Child labour no more
Director, ILO Office, Islamabad
a project entitled 'Combating Child Labour in the Carpet Industry
in Pakistan' was launched within the framework of the ILO-PCMEA
Agreements, with financial support from Pakistan Carpets Manufacturers
Association (PCMEA) and the US Department of Labour (USDOL). The
project was aimed at reducing child labour in the carpet industry,
initially in Sheikhupura and Gujranwala districts. The main purpose
was to provide education to working children as an alternative
to work. It also provided an opportunity to families of these
children to gain access to other employable skills.
approach was adopted and reliance was placed on viable income
replacement schemes for the families of carpet-weaving children,
particularly mothers, through income-generation and skill development
programmes. First Women Bank Limited (FWBL) was the implementing
partner of this major component of the project. It provided easy
access to its financial and non-financial services to families
of carpet weaving children. In a short span of one year, the programme
has achieved all its objectives and targets. Micro-Finance Units
have been established in Sheikhupura and Gujranwala districts.
Area Profile Surveys and Local Economic Base Surveys have been
conducted in project areas, identifying 42 micro-businesses. As
a result of community organisation, 119 Groups for Income Generation
(GIG) have been formed, comprising 869 members; they have
of Rs. 309,676 in 111 savings accounts. As many as 586 micro credits,
amounting to Rs 5,193,000/- have been disbursed to families of
carpet-weaving children, at an average rate of Rs 9,226.
A hundred per cent recovery of amounts due have been made.
144 women have been trained in skills with income-generating potential.
implementing the programme, FWBL has strengthened project interventions
geared toward withdrawal of child labour from the carpet industry.
FWBL reached out to deprived families to enable sustained increase
in their family incomes. The disbursement of second loans in many
cases is evidence of FWBL's effective operations and confidence
of the families in the bank. FWBL's management has been extremely
co-operative in facilitation and implementation of strategies.
The Bank's procedures were simplified or tailored in accordance
with programme requirements for target beneficiaries. Furthermore,
transparency and appropriate use of project funds were hallmarks
of FWBL's policies.
and services have been greatly appreciated by these communities.
The programme has increased their hopes and has served as an incentive
for them to join the national struggle against child labour. The
programme could be replicated as a model in other similar interventions
combating child labour. The collaboration between the ILO and
FWBL at the national level has been highly appreciated by the
ILO headquarters in Geneva, and the project donors as well."
those who think banks
are the last place
women would start
take another look!
Rs. in Million
Recovery of NPLs
Profit per Month
Earning Per Share
(Rs. per share)
"Why is the FWBL
model a National Treasure"
-- Zarine Aziz
importance of the FWBL model goes far beyond that of the Grameen
Bank which is for landless peasants. The
government has recently realised the importance of micro credit
and loans to the SMEs in poverty alleviation. We have been doing
this business for 14 years. Today, this is among our biggest advantages.
collective outreach of 13 NGOs and various rural support programmes
is just 67,000 borrowers and 100 million rupees. On the other
hand, we've disbursed 7.1 billion rupees to over 26,000 borrowers.
We know how 10,000 rupees can change the lives of people and we
know of the salutary trickle-down impact it has on the economy.
We've managed to create employment for over a million people through
banks are wary of entering into micro credit because micro credit
is generally thought to be inherently risky. However, our stunning
recovery rate of 95 per cent proves we have the capability and
expertise required to do this business well. Further, our model
caters to women at all financial levels. We're very comfortable
lending to women. Since May 2001, we've made fresh disbursements
worth 2.08 billion rupees and only 1.9 million is overdue (0.09%).
can dream of freedom from poverty or an economic revival if approximately
52 per cent of its
population does not play its role. The economic empowerment of
women is going to have significant socio-economic ramifications
for both society as well as the economy.
By providing women
with the financial and non-financial support they need to emerge
as key players, we are actually laying the foundation of a multifaceted
revolution. Even the US, which allocates 1.3 trillion dollars
to the development of women, cannot boast a specialised financial
institution disbursing credit to women. Utilised properly, the
FWBL model has the potential of transforming the face of Pakistan."
of FWBL: From L/R (sitting) Siddiqueh Khalil, Shafqat Sultana,
Zarine Aziz (C), Safia Hasan, Nadira Parveen Agha. Standing (L/R)
Charmaine Hidayatullah and Shawana Yamin.
From left to right:
Shaukat Aziz, Finance Minister; Zarine Aziz, President FWBL, S.
Ali Raza, President NBP, Zakir Mehmood, President HBL at the inauguration
of FWBL new head office.
income generation programme
Bibi of Makki 460 (Sheikhupura) has recently availed a credit
facility of Rs 10,000/. Ishrat had already owned a loom but it
was not being used since some time as she had no capital to purchase
inputs. This money helped her to buy wool, thread and also material
to dye the wool that is dyed, dried and then used in the carpet.
The carpet in picture will take about eight months to complete
and will sell in the market for about Rs 175,000/- and Ishrat
will save about Rs 50,000/- on this.
in small entrepreneurship
took loans from First Women Bank Ltd four times already, so it
tells you how well I'm doing. My husband is an upper division
clerk (UDC) in an office but his salary is not enough to support
a family of six. I got a micro credit loan easily - I really appreciated
the quick and easy procedure - and I set up a stall in the CDA
weekly market. My husband has a lot of experience in sales and
his know-how also contributed to my success. I started with kitchen
items and now I've added hosiery and clothes as well.
I'm now paying more attention to the decor of the shop
to attract more customers. I recently invested Rs 16,000 to put
a roof cover over our stall. I have also bought a motorbike for
Rs 18,000 which brought huge savings on transport costs. It's
good for both personal and business use. We even use it to carry
goods. The income from the business is 50% more than my husband's
salary. Since my first loan, my monthly income has increased by
140% and the return on investment is about 17%. The best thing
is that we are able to cover all our needs and I am now able to
spend more on my home and family."
flowers into a new life
been in the flower business for four years. We live in a joint
family as my husband had to retire from his job four years ago.
After that he tried his hand at various businesses but was unsuccessful.
Something had to be done as we were facing severe financial problems.
So I approached First Women Bank Ltd and took a loan of 5,000/-
to do my flower-making more professionally. I've been running
a stall for artificial flowers in a weekly bazaar since then.
the only breadwinner in a family of four dependents. But it's
no longer a serious issue now. Things have improved, and after
paying off the loan in time, I took a second loan of Rs 10,000/-.
Things went so well that after I repaid that, I took a third loan
of Rs 25,000. These have helped to greatly improve and expand
my business. There's a lot of variety in my products now and I
get a lot of customers. There's been a 33 per cent increase in
my income, and the return on total investment has risen by 20%.
I've started saving money to buy a separate house for myself and
husband used to be the only breadwinner in our family. After he
retired from Wah Factory, he started driving a cab. Then he fell
seriously ill. His medical treatment cost Rs 45,000/- for which
we had to sell his cab, and matters got worse. That was when I
decided I had to earn for my family's survival. Our families are
very traditional and strict, so my husband was absolutely against
the idea. But the First Women Bank Ltd smoothed the way. The Mobile
Credit Officer had held a community meeting in my locality, which
I had attended. I was able to start my small business with the
help of their micro credit scheme. The staff encouraged me and
helped me all the way. The Bank's Programme Manager even helped
to get a stall allotted to me at the weekly bazaar.
sell children clothes, hosiery, kitchen items and decorations,
and am earning a regular income and have become one of the two
breadwinners in the family. It took a long time, but my husband
finally admitted that we'd have been lost had I not taken this
step. I've now taken a second loan of Rs 10,000/- and have recently
bought another stall in the same market. FWBL's help came when
I needed it most. Against all social barriers, I am now economically
empowered. It has made all the difference to my family life."
Women Franchise Post Office
ran a cyber cafe exclusively for women and it worked well. But
I had to wind it up due to scarcity of space
and was looking for a job. One day, I saw an interview of Begum
Akram Khatoon, the former President of FWBL on PTV. She said that
UNDP, as part of their self-employment scheme, was going to start
a project for women running post-office franchises. She asked
enterprising women to avail the opportunity, so I decided to try.
filing the application to getting trained by post office staff
and acquiring an office of my own, all went unbelievably smoothly.
The post office opened in January 2001 and was formally inaugurated
by Ms. Zarine Aziz in May. I faced no major problems, except that
I had to do a lot of legwork, which of course was necessary. Guidance
from the FWBL was flawless. Contrary to common negative perceptions
about government departments, the post-office staff were very
helpful and co-operative.
takes many things to succeed - only sheer hard work and commitment
bring long-term benefits. And family encouragement has kept me
going. Sometimes I have problems due to the law and order situation.
It's difficult for women in a city where there's no security.
Above all, working women need to have a lot of self-confidence.
loan was sanctioned within a month. I would say 90% of the credit
for my success goes to FWBL since they provided me a base from
which to move forward. They helped me to attain financial stability
and economic empowerment in a dignified manner. They got me into
a project which had no history of women in it. If Begum Akram
Khatoon showed me the track, Zarine Aziz showed me how to walk
that track. The bank staff has a share in my success because of
their unflagging support.
want FWBL to start other such unique projects for women, apart
from boutiques and parlours. And they should ask the postal department
to arrange refresher courses. I'm also in the printing and stationery
supply business by the name of Women Traders which I want to expand.
I also plan to re-launch my cyber cafe after finding bigger premises.
FWBL's around to help."
Khatoon, spicing up meals
hail from Kunri, district Umerkot, Zila Tharparkar, Sindh which
is Asia's largest market for red chillies. I used to run a small
general goods outlet from my home. We started this business after
my husband retired from Pakistan Railways. We'd bring dry chillies
from Kunri to grind and sell. One day I saw a newspaper ad of
FWBL's micro credit scheme. I applied and obtained the Rs 25,000/-
loan I asked for and paid it back in record time -- one year --
against repayment time allowed of two years. So when I asked for
a second loan of 50,000/- they happily gave it to me. After expenses we made a profit of about a lac and a half rupees
in 2-3 years, which is a great success for a small venture."
Initially, it was difficult to persuade shopkeepers to stock our
products in competition with big names. But once they were satisfied,
they became permanent clients. Now we have a name in the market
and also advertise in the newspapers. We want to install a grinding
mill and packing machine so as to expand production. Our only
need is financial, which FWBL will resolve. We also want to add
prepared masala mixes to our product range, such as Quorma Masala,
Boti Kabab Masala, Chicken Tikka Masala, Biryani Masala as well
as Siwayyian (vermicellies) under my name, next year. We hope
to export to the UAE# some day. In the meantime, do please try
some of our products. You'll come back for more", she said.
business is an extension of my passion for gardening and flower
arrangements. I have farms in Murree and Bedian where I use both
imported and local bulbs. I started a shop in Multan which did
extremely well but it became difficult to run it long-distance
from Lahore where I live. The local vendors gave me a hard time
initially, but once I established a reputation for top quality
and skill, they became more co-operative. I then opened an outlet
in Lahore in 1997. I provide bouquets and flower arrangements
as well as special arrangements for parties, weddings and other
events. Why did I approach the FWBL? They are here especially
to facilitate women, so it was an obvious choice for a businesswoman.
My acquaintance with the Bank has been short but favourable. I
hope to export flowers to the Middle East and European markets
in the near future.
Christopher's School, Karachi
used to be a primary teacher at a government school. But after
suffering a severe head injury in an accident I had
to retire in 1996. It became difficult to manage without a regular
income. All I knew was teaching, so that led to opening St. Christopher's
School in an area where it was also badly needed. It wasn't easy,
as I had no help from any quarter. When I ran short of funds,
someone suggested I meet with the FWBL. They were very helpful.
I started with a loan of Rs 10,000/.
By the grace of God, this school, which started with only
one child, now boasts three hundred. Soon after, it obtained registration
as a secondary school. FWBL is the backbone of my profession --
they supported me when even my relatives would not. They boosted
my tiny venture without any discrimination. It helped me to keep
qualified teachers and running the school in a more professional
manner. With my first FWBL loan,
I also set up a school canteen which did extremely well.
The second time a loan of Rs 25,000 got me computers for my school
-- which increased the enrollment. Now I plan to start a second
shift. The bank is doing a great job for women, and what I have
to say to defaulters is that they should repay their loans, and
on time, so that more women can benefit from the bank.
I just want to expand and improve the existing structure
and develop its teaching services to be as good as any other."
started my business from my home and used to supply local bakeries
in Islamabad. To start a network in Lahore, I formed a partnership
with Sadia Noon, who is based there, in 1993. Behind this success
the role of FWBL has been most encouraging. It is because of the
Bank's financial aid that we have been able to expand.
Kitchen Cuisine's network boasts nine bakeries and two restaurants
in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad. The restaurants
are in Lahore and Islamabad. We now wish to expand our network
by opening branches in most of the major towns and cities. We
also plan to open one more branch in Karachi and one in Sialkot.
Early Learning Centre
all begin when Defence Housing Authority established the prestigious
DHA'O&A' Levels School, starting from class I going up to
'A' Levels. I felt the need for a feeder school to the main school,
since a child's early years are the most important ones. Finances
were needed for the project and the first bank that came to my
mind was the FWBL. Ms Zarine Aziz
is very different from most bank presidents. She's accessible,
cordial and receptive to new ideas. After completing all the bank
formalities within a few days,
DHA Early Learning Centre was set up
where children start at age two in the play group and go
up to KG II at age 6-plus and then to Class I. The two schools
together now provide continual education system to children from
age 2 to 18 years on the same campus - a very rare facility in
Karachi. FWBL played a very major role in the success of the school
project by providing loan financing right on time. It continues
with prompt banking services to the school, as well as for all
the staff. My future plans include setting up similar high-quality
purpose-built schools in other areas of Karachi.
Zeenat Saeed -
Everything comes in style
all started from a simple exhibition from my home of cushion covers,
waste paper baskets, mounted paintings and lamp shades all unique
and meticulously executed. The sales and the acclamations from
my clients gave me the confidence to think in terms of developing
it into a serious business. Later I managed to get a shop (TANEEZ)
at Park Towers but was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep up paying
the rent. When I first approached FWBL, they were understandably
cautious as it was a new venture but later decided I was a safe
bet. I would say FWBL is a good judge of potential. Within three
months they saw the signs of success in my business. Our sales
increased by 100 per cent every year. And they continued to extend
me support. Prices at TANEEZ range from Rs 300 to Rs 10,000 -
so there's something to suit every pocket.
Taneez gifts are very popular at Karachi weddings. The
same is with gold and silver jewellery with semi-precious stones
that has received tremendous response. I hope to export them soon.
I'm a style-setter and want to help people make their homes and
their persona beautiful. That's the philosophy behind my business
Misbah - Restoring lost faces
Last year I introduced
an NGO from my Depilex Beauty Clinic & Institute, by the name
of 'Depilex Smileagain'. The NGO collaborates with the world famous
Italian mission 'Smileagain'. Through this collaboration we performed
number of reconstructive surgeries last year, which were done
by world acclaimed foreign reconstructive surgeons. All victims
were women belonging to lower income strata who could not have
otherwise dreamed of getting their lost faces back, burnt from
acid and kerosene.
and publicised the project to build the 'Burn Rehabilitation Centre'
for victims of acid and kerosene burns. It provides services to
victimised women in need of urgent professional medical care and
However, we are
simply one organisation and the magnitude of the problem is enormous.
We cannot expect to reach each and every one of the countless
victims. We need far more people to join in the cause with all
the support they can possibly give.
- Hair and beauty expert
I have been in
the beauty trade for 25 years and opened the first beauty salon
in Karachi, and afterwards followed it up with "Ravissant"
and "Cuts 'n' Cappucino". I've travelled far and wide
to learn about the tremendous strides made in beauty care - including
from Maria Gallant in Paris, Shehnaz Hussain in Mumbai and the
London International School of Therapy. I learnt to make herbal
products with Pandit Shankar Sharma. I produce my own line of
herbal products for my clients. But it's an expensive venture
and training abroad costs a lot which few can afford. In order
to bring an international institute of repute here in Pakistan
which is accessible to all, I approached FWBL for help. I acquired
the sole distributorship of Pivot Point International Inc., a
US-based organisation with branches in 50 countries that specialises
in the delivery of top-quality educational systems for the hair
and beauty industry. When FWBL accepted the idea, I also asked
them to extend student loans for those who couldn't afford the
cost. They could repay in easy installments once they started
earning. The FWBL President, Ms Aziz, liked the idea and agreed.
I renovated the place to PIVOT's standards.
As an international school, we automatically know of and
follow international trends.
been brought from abroad. We've started at certificate level working
up to degree level. It's a new concept not confined to weddings
and special occasions. It's a necessity, not a luxury,
a concept I actively promote. Some day I hope to open salons
that incorporate a cafe and a library that cater to the whole
woman. Awakening is a must. We keep conducting seminars with leading
hairstylists of Karachi who are invited to share their expertise
with our students.
& Zehra Ashraf: Tent manufacturers and exporters
To boost my import-export
business, City Textiles (Pvt) Ltd, Lahore, I went into tent-manufacturing
in 1991 because circumstances seemed to require it. Tents are
needed mainly in disaster relief, as well as in war zones for
soldiers and refugees alike. We are now one of the largest tent
manufacturers in Pakistan. We have offices in the US, Kuwait,
Dubai and Saudi Arabia.
I first approached
the FWBL in 1992 where we met Ms Zarine Aziz, who showed us the
advantages of availing of the credit facility from the branch
she was managing then. But being a man, I was not eligible unless
my wife was an equal partner - that meant owning half the company.
So overnight she became an actual owner too.
Zehra Ashraf says:
FWBL has played
a very important role for us because no business can sustain or
operate successfully without financial support especially with
regard to foreign exchange. FWBL's decision-making has always
been prompt and quick. As for the future, we are planning to diversify
and branch into consumer goods. It so happens that the machinery
and facilities used for tent manufacture can also produce items
such as towels and denim. That way we'll use our excess production
capacity. By maximising utilisation of our capacity, we'll also
be diversifying risk.
-- Jewellery designer
wanted to break new ground in creativity. If you take fashion
as a personal statement then it should be different from others
because you want to express your own unique persona. The clothes
and the jewellery should be compatible with one's life style.
So I started designing very personal pieces exclusively for my
clients. That's how PRIVATE COLLECTION, my jewellery shop, came
about. PRIVATE COLLECTION makes jewellery exclusively for those
who want a personal, unique collection that stand apart from the
rest. We do also cater for those who like catalogue jewellery
and have both conventional and modern pieces. My husband and I
have very specific, separate clients, some who want to wear jewellery
designed by my husband, Shakeel Saigol, and others who want my
designs. These are all individual pieces, which reflect the personality
of the women wearing them. We've had many exhibitions in and outside
the country -- Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, USA and London and sometimes
go to great fests.
We needed a credit
ceiling and the experience with FWBL was encouraging. Whenever
we wanted something for our shop, they extended financial support
to us, but they are very meticulous in their working. Ms. Zarine
Aziz is a very fine Administrator who has the ability to delegate
and discern between a good person and an efficient woman. She
knows how to lift standards and to set standards, both at the
same time. I think FWBL needed a person with dynamism for long
and they have it now in her.
I do things meticulously and in a sense the Bank reflects
my style of working. But I don't think they need to be protectionist.
Instead they should be more competitive. I also don't see why
they can't have occasional male on their staff. If they can't
find a gutsy young woman for a specific job, they should go for
a young man who can. It may even put some men into their right
calling. When other banks can employ women, I don't see why FWBL
shouldn't employ occasional males. The bottom line is good service.
The bank was tipped in Asia since Ms. Aziz took over - she's has
made things move faster and better.
I bank with FWBL
out of choice. When I started my business there was no women's
bank in the country. In fact I was one of those seven women who
proposed it, taking inspiration from Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.
The idea was endorsed by the fact that women are better paymasters
and more honest than men. It may appear a sweeping statement but
that's my observation too. But while the government accepted our
proposal, they didn't give us a stake in it ! Nevertheless, it's
something a lot of women can look up to.
President, Union Bank
the years, First Women Bank Limited has proved to be an excellent
endeavour for providing credit facilities to women in a congenial
and hospitable atmosphere. FWBL caters to the credit needs of women,
especially from low and middle-income groups and thus enables them
to actively participate in the economic development of the country
while strengthening their own socio-economic status.
Apart from its routine
banking services, the bank focuses greatly on the development of
women by offering support services, a Women Business Center, Computer
Literacy Centres and a Financial Service Desk for the enrichment
of their skills.
I wish the FWBL
the best of luck in its endeavours and hope that it will remain
to be an aggressive and innovative institution for the prosperity
of the Pakistan.
and on behalf of the All Pakistan Women's Association, it gives
us genuine pleasure to felicitate the
First Women's Bank Ltd on the occasion of its anniversary.
It is really commendable
that the management under your able leadership and your band of
young women bankers, the Bank has preserved its dual character of
The steady increase
in its reserves, stocks and profits are clear indications of the
dedication of its hierarchy and the management. Its impact is felt
not only in the larger cities but in all the districts of Pakistan,
where women and children are to be supported and helped.
the Bank and wish its efforts every success.
The CIDA-FWBL partnership
International Development Agency (CIDA), the most prestigious developmental
Agency of the world, promotes foreign aid programmes that support
economic well-being, social development, governance and environmental
sustainability and regeneration.
First Women Bank
Ltd has been recognised by CIDA as a unique institution catering
to the special needs of women in Pakistan. FWBL and CIDA have entered
into a collaboration involving 3 years from the year 2003, where
financial assistance for the two important directions of the Bank
i.e. setting up of Financial Services Desk and Training and Capacity
Building of FWBL employees.
Desk based in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad is facilitating enterprising
women's access to financial services by providing support in the
areas of credit management, legal counselling, tax consultancy and
Through CIDA's assistance
on Capacity Building of FWBL, a total number of 44 FWBL bankers
have been trained at the Institute of Bankers Pakistan and are serving
the women of Pakistan in the most effective and professional manner.
Executive Committee First Women Bank Limited
Ms Zarine Aziz
Ms Charmaine Hidayatullah
EVP & Head of
Ms Safia Hasan
EVP & Head of
Ms Shahwana Yamin
EVP, Company Secretary,
Head of SME Division
Mr Shahid Mughal
Head of Finance,
Ms Tazeen Ahmed
Head of Corporate
Micro credit -- The star performer at FWBL
of Jagowala, Gujranwala has about seven acres of cultivable land
on which they have cultivated rice these days. Their whole family
works in the field at different phases of crop cultivation. Women's
most important role is in the beginning of the cultivation and at
the harvesting time. Sabiran Bibi availed a loan of Rs 5000 to purchase
seeds and fertilizers for her crop. Her crop will be harvested in
November. Sabiran, like many other women in rural areas of Sheikhupura
and Gujranwala is thrilled by the idea of a bank that is exclusively
devoted to provide services to poor women.
Samina Shafiq is
a very enthusiastic young woman who is running this school with
her husband in her own house. She is also teaching in ILO's NFE
for carpet weaving children but in the morning she is running this
school. FWBL provided her with a loan of Rs 8000 as she decided
to renovate the school and purchase stationery items. She has about
200 children studying in her school.
Many want to
help the poor. But often helping the poor is not an easy task. -Especially
when they are scattered far and wide in the little-developed rural
The idea behind
the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) which was founded in
late 1991, was to provide support to the organised rural poor through
a countrywide network of grassroots community organisations (COs).
NRSP would help them to access the resources they need which could
be credit or technical assistance, or something as basic as specialised
The approach was
to organise community members into small groups, and then to build
their capital base at the local level. This is done through savings
and credit schemes, as well as personal development, and linking
communities with a range of government and non-government service
delivery departments and donors.
NRSP began by extending
small loans to villagers through its own limited resources. But
it faced acute shortage of financial resources for its micro credit
programme. Other financial institutions were reluctant to accept
group surety as collateral. Since, the loan amounts required by
the poor is so small, managements did not find the investment of
time and effort financially worthwhile.
A different outlook
was shown by First Women Bank (FWBL) which became the first institution
that agreed to work with NRSP -- to meet credit requirements for
women. An arrangement was made between the FWBL and NRSP, whereby
the FWBL sanctioned a credit line of Rs. 10 million in 1995-96 @
10-14 % per annum against a collateral provided by NRSP.
both the communities and the bank in the process.
The only condition
was that the facility provided by the FWBL would be used for income-generating
activities exclusively for women. Since the NRSP programme already
had a strong gender focus, it had no difficulty with this requirement.
In 2001-2002 the
credit line was increased to Rs. 210 million at the same rate. NRSP
was also allowed it for additional purposes in rural and urban communities.
In 2002-2003 it was reduced to Rs. 50 million as NRSP had obtained
additional resources from elsewhere.
Currently the credit
line of Rs. 50 million is operated from three bank accounts in NRSP's
urban programme areas -- Rawalpindi, Karachi and Faisalabad. Thousands
of poor and illiterate women are able to obtain micro credit from
FWBL once again
proved a bonus in attracting poor women clients, already having
a built-in objective for their betterment. For that very reason
NRSP prefers to maintain its operational accounts for urban poor
women clients with the FWBL.
Dr. Attiya Inayatullah
it be true that the First Women Bank Limited has survived what can
almost be called a calculated demise by its detractors ? Yes ---
it is true that the First Women Bank Ltd. has not only survived
as a commercial bank and development financial institution, the
only one of its kind in the world, but is today a proven banking
institution in Pakistan.
In this survival
whilst the vision of Shaukat
Aziz, Minister for Finance & Economic Affairs and Dr Ishrat
Hussain, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, is recognised, the credit
must go to the FWBL team led by its President, Zarine Aziz. This
indomitable woman has proven her leadership qualities, but above
all it was her commitment to accept the assignment as a challenge
that has brought about what is no less than a miracle.
On the 14th anniversary
of FWBL, I dedicate this tribute to the many women who have benefited
and there are still in millions waiting out there to be served by
the Bank. We all know, and know it too well, that poverty has a
female face. Pakistani women have proven that given the opportunity
they have the talent in all categories of business ranging from
micro to small and medium size.
I am grateful that
when I was able to influence matters, I had faith in the turnaround
of the Bank and conviction that Pakistan must not let this unique
and specialised financial institution languish. I wish FWBL's management
all success in its endeavours.
First Women Bank
Ifeel elated to
see the Bank rising to new heights. Leaving aside a troubled period
of 1996-1997 when the
Bank encountered a forex loss and thereafter its entanglement in
an enforced litigation relating to its privatisation which affected
its operations adversely, the Bank has had a glorious past. Being
the pioneer in micro credit and entrepreneurial skill development
training programmes in Pakistan, it created employment and self-employment
opportunities for women for mainstreaming women in the economic
process. For furthering the cause of women, FWBL was the first to
receive the prestigious "Euro Money" award in 1994 for
being the Best Bank in Pakistan. I congratulate its President, Zarine
Aziz (whose association with the bank has always delighted me),
for making new waves in the realm of banking by achieving such excellent
financial results for the years 2002 and 2003.
I pray to Allah
Almighty to bestow even more success and glory to the Bank.
istorically speaking, FWBL was created to cater exclusively to women's
banking needs. It still remains the only institution of its kind
in Pakistan and in the world.
FWBL also took active
part in the government's poverty alleviation programme by providing
micro credit to women for starting small businesses.
The Bank achieved
the highest recovery rate of 98.5%; lending cautiously and honouring
only qualitative credit. FWBL has striven and worked extremely hard
in creating a progressive, profit-bearing financial institution
that is managed essentially by women. I commend and congratulate
the President, the management and the staff for their untiring and
fruit bearing efforts. It further proves the fact that women of
Pakistan are more competent, enlightened and responsible in their
professional fields as compared to their male counterparts. Together
we have to work for a strong Pakistan aiming at to target poverty
alleviation schemes. I wish Ms Zarine Aziz and her team all the
The splendid performance
registered by this bank in recent years and its ability to overcome
challenging circumstances is a matter of immense pride for all of
us. Through some very innovative strategies the bank has played
a truly meaningful role in facilitating economic empowerment for
women entrepreneurs and transforming their status from that of passive
beneficiaries into self reliant and active agents of economic change.
Women development is an integral aspect of this organisation and
is being effectively promoted through introduction of enabling business
practices and products tailored to the requirements of women from
all social strata. Provision of free financial and legal counselling
is another commendable service provided by the FWBL to its clients.
I believe that the efforts and the achievements of the determined
women who run this very unique banking institution deserve our wholehearted
support and appreciation. May you remain constant in your commitment
to women's progress.
Begum Salma Ahmed
Association of Women Entrepreneurs
It gives me immense
pleasure to congratulate President, First Women Bank Limited, Zarine
Aziz, for the magnificent performance of the FWBL on the successful
completion of its 14 years of service.
It is a matter of
great satisfaction that this bank is heralding a bright future for
our new generation of women entrepreneurs from the grassroot level
to corporate levels.
I wish the Bank
all the best and pray for the continuity of the Bank's performance
and hope that they will achieve excellence as the years go by. Inshallah.
New Products of FWBL
First Women Bank
Ltd now offers home loans under the brand "First Home"
in Pakistan. These loans would be available at a very low mark-up
of 9% p.a. Women can get a loan worth Rs 7.5 million from First
Women Bank Ltd.
The provision of
these loans would be for buying a house/apartment, or build a house,
book an apartment, or even to improve/extend an existing (self-owned)
The Home Loan scheme
"First Home" is aimed at to encouraging and assisting
women, specifically working women, to "Own a House". These
loans would be offered to all classes of working women i.e. salaried,
self-employed (proprietor), professional, business (active participant/shareholder
in a business).
Another great advantage
that only FWBL offers is that these Home Loans can be availed singly
or jointly i.e. with spouse or a male earning member of the family.
women access to financial services by providing support through
Financial Services Desk on credit management, Legal Advise, Taxation
and Marketing. FWBL Financial Services Desk
(FSD) offers a wide range of banking and related services,
specially tailored to meet the individual financing needs of Businesswomen'.
women access to financial services by providing support through
Financial Services Desk on credit management, Legal Advise, Taxation
and Marketing. FWBL Financial Services Desk
(FSD) offers a wide range of banking and related services,
specially tailored to meet the individual financing needs of Businesswomen'.
The scheme "First
Car" is designed to assist women from all walks of life to
conveniently avail car loan facility from the bank on low mark-up
rates. The scheme is specifically designed for working women who
often face problems in commuting to their workplace. They
can buy either a new car, or a second hand car at lower mark-up
rates. Women can get car loans worth Rs 350,000 to Rs 1.0 million
for buying new cars and Rs 150,000 to Rs 500,000 for buying second
FWBL's 'First Car'
offers competitive financing rates, low down payment, flexible repayment
option, quick processing and insurance coverage from reputable companies.
Business loans for
FWBL extend loans
to businesswomen for establishment of new business/development of
existing business, and/or for purchase of raw material or plant
Women can get loan
ranging from Rs100,000 to Rs 500,000 at 8% mark-up rate. The Financial
Services Desk of the bank will assist and help the applicants of
the loan on financial, legal, taxation, marketing and management
Often women are
deprived of their right to pursue higher education mainly because
of the financial constraints many families face. The society also
does not realise that a well-educated and enlightened women will
rear an equally enlightened next generation.
First Women Bank
Ltd offers Education loans at a nominal mark-up rate of 8% per annum.
However, the student who conforms to the merit criteria of the bank
shall be given a loan @7% p.a.
First Women Bank
Ltd proudly presents loans for buying lifestyle items
through 'First Choice' scheme. Through this scheme, women
can buy TV, refrigerators, washing machines, kitchen appliances,
sewing machines and other home and kitchen accessories and luxury
items with the convenience of paying on a monthly installment basis.
The mark-up rate
that 'First Choice' would be offering will be 0%, with 0% down payment
i.e. you buy an item at showroom price with a convenience of paying
back to the bank in 12 months to 3 years.
This scheme will
facilitate women to buy home and kitchen appliances instantly, who
they otherwise can not afford to buy due to home budgetary constraints.