Effect of Global Financial Crisis on Banks in Pakistan

Thursday July 7, 2022

The financial crisis, which has been developing at Wall Street, has got people worried in developing countries around the world. The stock exchanges, in developing countries have crashed and things look bleak for the financial markets. The people are drawing parallels with the Great Depression of 1929, but this time the world economy seems far more reliant and countries are far more intertwined with each other. Hit by an unprecedented series of multiple events and shocks, the Global Financial System is in a state of deep distress. One after another, large global banks have faced extensive losses, some were subjected to runs, others wrapped up their business, while yet others went for bail outs, mergers or other forms of restructuring. Stock markets tumbled, indices declined and their market capitalization was severely eroded. The financial crisis, triggered by an isolated problem of subprime mortgages and other alternative investment vehicles which constituted only a small proportion of global financial assets, first hit one sector of the economy i. e. housing, and has now transmitted its contagion effect across all segments of financial markets and institutions, with spillover effects into the real sector. The global economy is now witnessing a significant slowdown after a sustained period of growth. What was perceived initially as purely liquidity? runch in advanced financial markets has now turned into a solvency crisis. The depth and breadth of the financial crisis is yet not known. The crisis has generated instability by speculative trade, which has far-reaching implications around the globe. The crisis has the potential to disrupt the very foundations of the international monetary system. The situation is not limited to the meltdown of financial markets, the real economy at the national and international level, its institutions; and its productive structures are also in difficulty. This financial meltdown inevitably, backlashes on consumer markets, the housing market, and more broadly on the process of investment in the production of goods and services. 1. 2Evolution and Present Status Pakistan is living in a highly integrated world and a major turmoil of this magnitude and would definitely create certain implications for Pakistan’s economy. Pakistan already reeling from high food and fuel prices could face adverse consequences of the global financial crisis. The country’s economy is already confronted with worst kind of macroeconomic imbalances and obviously need financing desperately. Pakistan’s economic growth has slowed down and the ripple effects of this financial crisis may or may not hit with same intensity or severity as it is doing to the developed world, but still there are various channels through which the crisis may hit Pakistan economy. The crisis affected area, United States and Europe, hold a fundamental value for Pakistan’s economy. The financial turmoil is more then likely to affect Europe, Japan and North American countries with full intensity. Pakistan’s external sector comprised of trade, foreign investment, remittances, and capital flows is interwoven with these countries. All these indicators of external sector have more than 50 per cent of the stake in this region. The growth model being followed in Pakistan over the years is highly dependent on foreign capital inflows, mainly from these countries. More than one-half of Pakistan’s external trade is dependent on these countries. The country could be hurt if demands for its export products dropped significantly, foreign investment declines substantially and if the terms of trade are affected. Pakistan has a very inelastic import structure and if exports are hit by a crisis than the current account deficit is likely to go beyond the sustainable limits. There is an agreement among analysts that countries with heavy external financing needs are potentially more vulnerable to a credit crunch. Pakistan’s current account deficit had already touched $14 billion which is 8. 5 per cent of its GDP, in 2007-08. In the current fiscal year, the ambitious reduction in the CAD is planned but still need a financing of around $12 billion. If import compression measures fail than the financing needs would be more than that. Pakistan’s external inflows projections hinges upon inflows from GDR’s and sovereign bonds in the fiscal year 2008-09. In the current situation any inflows under these heads are most unlikely. Standard & Poor has downgraded its long-term credit rating for Pakistan to triple c plus and this is the third downgrading of this calendar year. This rating will heart some investment prospect as well. The current crisis is aggravated by rising cost of external borrowing on the one hand and scarcity of availability of external inflows coupled with volatility of oil prices in the international market on the other. Internal security situation is adding miseries to our external woes. Non-debt creating inflows like FDI and portfolio inflows had shown great resilience to external crisis last year but sustainability of this resilience is likely to be hurt. 1. 2. 1Pakistan’s Banking Sector & Foreign Banks The major area of the economy of any country is its financial sector, in recent times financial sector has received renewed focus in the world. And within the broad domain of the financial sector, it is the banking industry that has been the center of attraction for the government and policymakers, particularly in the landscape of the Universal Banking Model. Banking is one of the most sensitive businesses all over the world. Banks plays very important role in the economy of the country and Pakistan is no exception. Banks are not only the custodian of the assets of the general masses but also act as a major financial intermediary of the country. The banking sector influences many different but integrated economic activities like mobilization of resources, collection & distribution of public finance. Pakistan’s financial sector consists of Scheduled Commercial Banks which include nationalized, foreign, and private banks; and Non-banking Financial Institutions (NBFIs) which include Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), Investment Banks, leasing companies, modarabas, and housing finance companies. Scheduled Banks and NBFIs (excluding modaraba and leasing companies) are both regulated by the State Bank of Pakistan’s Prudential Regulations, albeit through different wings, and are subject to different SBP regulatory requirements such as capital and liquidity reserve requirements. The banking sector in Pakistan has been going through a comprehensive but complex and painful process of restructuring since 1997. It is aimed at making these institutions financially sound and forging their links firmly with the real sector for promotion of savings, investment and growth. Although a complete turnaround in banking sector performance is not expected till the completion of reforms, signs of improvement are visible. The almost simultaneous nature of various factors makes it difficult to disentangle signs of improvement and deterioration. The central bank has been following a supervisory framework, CAMEL, which involves the analysis of six indicators which reflect the financial health of financial institutions. These are: 1) Capital Adequacy, 2) Asset Quality, 3) Management Soundness, 4) Earnings and Profitability, 5) Liquidity and 6) Sensitivity to Market Risk. Pakistan’s banking sector is made up of 53 banks of which there are 30 commercial banks, four specialized banks, six Islamic banks, seven development financial institutions and six micro-finance banks. According to the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) Financial Stability Review 2007-08, “Pakistan’s banking sector has remained remarkably strong and resilient, despite facing pressures emanating from weakening macroeconomic environment. According to Fitch Ratings, the international credit rating agency dual headquartered in New York and London, “the Pakistani banking system has, over the last decade, gradually evolved from a weak state-owned system to a slightly healthier and active private sector driven system. |BANKS IN PAKISTAN | |[pic] | |PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS | | | |First Women Bank Limited | |The Bank of Khyber | |National Bank of Pakistan | |The Bank of Punjab | |SINDH BANK | |ISLAMIC BANKS | | | |BankIslami Pakistan Limited | |Emirates Global Islamic Bank | |Dawood Islamic Bank Limited | |Meezan Bank Limited | |Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited | |PRIVATE BANKS | | |The Royal Bank of Scotland Limited | |JS Bank Limited | |Allied Bank Limited | |KASB Bank Limited | |Arif Habib Bank Limited | |MCB Bank Limited | |Askari Bank Limited | |Mybank Limited | |Atlas Bank Limited | |NIB Bank Limited | |Bank Alfalah Limited | |Saudi Pak Commercial Bank Limited | |Bank Al Habib Limited | |Soneri Bank Limited | |Crescent Commercial Bank Limited | |Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited | |Faysal Bank Limited | |United Bank Limited | |Habib Bank Limited | |Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited | |FOREIGN BANKS | | | |Albaraka Islamic Bank B. S. C. (E. C. ), | |The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Limited – Pakistan Operations | |Citibank N. A. – Pakistan Operations | |HSBC Bank Middle East Limited – Pakistan | |Deutsche Bank AG – Pakistan Operations | |Barclays Bank PLC | |Oman International Bank S. A. O. G – Pakistan Operations | |DEVELOPMENT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS | | | |House Building Finance Corporation | |Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company Limited | |Pak Brunei investment Company Limited | |Pak Oman Investment Company Limited | |Pak Iran Joint Investment Company | |Saudi Pak Industrial & Agricultural Investment Company Limited | |Pak Libya Holding Company Limited | |China Investment Company Limited | |SPECIALIZED BANKS | | | |Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan | |The Punjab Provincial Cooperative Bank Ltd | |SME Bank Limited | |Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited | |MICRO FINANCE BANKS / INSTITUTIONS | | | |Khushhali Bank Limited | Rozgar Microfinance Bank Limited | |Network Microfinance Bank Limited | |Tameer Micro Finance Bank Limited | |Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Limited | |The First Micro Finance Bank Limited | As of end-2008, data from the banking sector confirms a slowdown (after a multi-year growth pattern). As of October 2008, total deposits fell from Rs3. 77 trillion in September to Rs3. 67 trillion. Provisions for losses over the same period went up from Rs173 billion in September to Rs178. 9 billion in October. In the meanwhile, the SBP has jacked up economy-wide rates of interest (the 3-month treasury bill auction has seen a jump from 9. 9 percent in January 2008 to 14 percent as of January 2009 and bank lending rates are as high as 20 percent). Overall, Pakistan’s banking sector hasn’t been as prone to external shocks as have been banks in Europe. To be certain, liquidity is tight but that has little to do with the Global Financial Crisis and more to do with heavy government borrowing from the banking sector and thus tight liquidity and the ‘crowding out’ of the private sector. Increased competition in the banking sector will force smaller banks to either sell out to other larger banks or merge. A small capital base will also restrict branch expansion of smaller banks, forcing them to focus on relatively smaller retail clients. Hence, it is foreseen that a major merger/acquisition potential in the banking sector. Competition would also spill over to other customer services such as provision of ATM machines and better banking facilities. Again, only the larger banks would be able to invest in automation technology and branch expansion necessary to improve efficiencies and mobilize cheaper funds. Foreign Banks (FB) comprises 24% of total advances and deposits within the banking system, but as a percentage of total profitability they are far ahead. A major constraint for foreign banks is the restrictions placed on branch expansion by the SBP. This should be according to liberalization policy to relax restrictions on foreign banks in emerging economies. Traditionally, the foreign banking focused on short term trade finance, targeting mainly low risk blue chip clients and high net worth individuals. More recently, foreign banks have also expanded into merchant banking, capital market operations, and consumer/retail banking. Foreign banks have been extremely successful in capturing a major market share of consumer banking business, especially that of credit cards. Head office support in terms of international network and technology has enabled the foreign banks to become important players in the corporate and consumer banking arena. The deposits of foreign banks as ratio of total deposits increased to 27. 99 per cent in 1994-95 as compared to 21. 3 per cent in the preceding year. The advances of foreign banks as ratio of total advances have also shown an increase from 17. 64 per cent to 20. 38 per cent during the same period. Citibank earned a pretax profit of Rs. 1191. 82 million and thus it became the top profit earner among the foreign banks in Pakistan. The presence of foreign banks in Pakistan expands access to credit as well as financial services, which can spur efficiency and innovation in domestic banks, however, ripple effect of shocks from the credit squeeze in the US has impact on local financial markets through these banks. Pakistan has concentration of almost all foreign banks in the country. They account for one-tenth of deposits in the country in 2007-08. There are substantial changes taking place in the interrelation with the structure-forming elements in the global financial market which is seriously affecting the financial-credit mechanism in the developing countries, which have not yet developed the financial and economic structures. Countries like Pakistan sensitively react to the structural changes in the financial space. The banking and the entire financial system is much stronger now, after years of restructuring. Pakistan’s financial institutions had not invested in derivatives that had exposure to risky investment bankers. Moreover, better supervisory oversight and risk management practices introduced by the SBP have strengthened bank balance sheets while Bank asset quality, profitability, and capital adequacy have also improved remarkably in recent years. If the small size of the Pakistan’s financial market has traditionally been a hindrance to a more efficient economy, it may actually prove to be an advantage in the current situation. There are deficiencies in the operations of the banking system, and it does not fulfill its function as finance intermediary. Hence the traditional channels of influence between financial market and real economy do not function in all respects. The banking system is on strong footing and has long term potential – a feature which has served to attract a substantial amount of FDI in the sector, with established global financial institutions now active participants in the domestic financial sector,” it has been well? governed and being in private hands under professional management, has witnessed outstanding financial performance during the last few years. With strong regulatory oversight, there has been a significant enhancement of capital and risk? weighted capital adequacy, supported by high provisioning requirements which were tightened in 2007. Stringent loan provisioning requirement has built sufficient reserves against the NPLs’ portfolio. In contrast to the liberalized financial system in the west which took its toll in the form of the current global financial crisis, there are stringent regulations and adequate policies in place to help the banking system manage its risks. It is observed that aggregate financial soundness indicators have improved since early 2000, and continue to exhibit strong performance. “Tighter provisioning requirements may have reduced profits, but have positioned banks well,” and added ongoing consolidation and mergers have enabled a number of banks to position themselves better. The studies have shown that solvency profile has improved, and given the pressures from the macroeconomic environment, there is an indication of marginal deterioration in asset quality, which banks are well? equipped to handle. Stress tests conducted on June? 008 data indicate that the large banks are relatively robust, with the medium and small? sized banks positioning themselves in niche markets. Capital adequacy of the banking system is strong, 12. 1 percent at end? June 2008, well above the internationally acceptable minimum requirement of 8. 0 percent, it said and added core capital constitutes about 80. 0 percent of the total capital, and Tier 1 to risk weighted assets ratio of the banking system is at 9. 7 percent. “This strong capital base is accompanied by adequate reserves on the back of stringent provisioning requirements against classified assets – the net NPLs to net loans ratio is reasonably well? contained i. e. at 1. percent in June 2008, comparable to international best standards,” the Report pointed out. Profitability of the banking system continues to be impressive, largely emanating from the persistent growth in high? yield earning assets and expanded business volumes. Before? tax Return On Assets of the banking system remains strong at 2. 3 percent in June 2008. The strengths built up over the years are now coming in handy in managing the recent financial strains. The Government’s and public sector organizations’ excessive borrowings from the banking system posed another challenge for the banking system. Notwithstanding, the liquidity strains were temporary and the inter? bank market is now functioning normally. Albeit going forward, the banking sector faces a significant challenge in maintaining its deposit base and in attracting new deposits, given the three rounds of increase in the rates of return on NSS instruments in the first few months of FY09. This will in a way force them to enhance the quality and returns on their liability products, and strengthen competition,” it pointed out. Liquidity position of banks also had an impact on the Non? Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs), whose main source of funding continues to be credit lines from banks. “A broader assessment of financial stability indicates that the financial sector is too bank? centric, and the outreach and growth of the Non? Bank Finance Companies and the Insurance sector have languished in recent years,” it said and added NBFCs face direct competition from banks and are not likely to grow significantly until their funding sources and costs are streamlined. An excessive dependence on the banking system to meet the financing needs of the economy, as well as other participants of the financial sector, is quite stark in comparison with other emerging economies, where in general, the growth in other components of the financial sector, such as capital markets, complements and supplements the financing capacity of the banking sector. While financial markets (money market and foreign exchange market) remained resilient to the developments in the macroeconomic environment and functioned well in maintaining financial stability. Despite several achievements of the financial sector in recent years, financial depth and penetration in Pakistan continues to be low, and SBP’s financial inclusion strategy are aimed at extending the net of financial services. A lack of confidence in banking system has also traditionally prevented a significant sector of households from keeping their savings in banks. Hence, the impact on households of a possible burst in bank insolvencies will be minimal. In addition, the majority of deposits are in the state-owned banks or banks with sizeable government presence. Indirect effects may thus become prominent in evaluating the consequences of the financial turmoil on the real economy. The tight liquidity situation particularly hampers the operations of small banks and banks with limited resources, so the possibility of insolvency and bankruptcy cannot be ignored for some banks. Pakistan is facing a gimmick of financing huge fiscal deficits in 2008-09 and if liquidity constraint remains intact with limitations on external financing, the demand for State Bank resources will grow at a faster pace. The unwillingness of the SBP to finance the deficit may have serious implications for fiscal operations. This will attract major cuts in growth enhancing development expenditure because current expenditure offers little room for adjustment. The development expenditure has crucial for job creation and interlink ages in the economy. The refinancing of fiscal deficit without SBP finances may prove to be difficult, and will further tighten liquidity conditions and could lead to insolvencies for banks as well as add further pressures on taxation options. 1. 3 – Statement of the Problem: This aim of this research is to analyse the working of foreign banks, their operations and situations after global financial crisis and the services they are providing. The benefits which they are providing to different financial and non financial organizations. The activities and practices of foreign banks operating particularly in Pakistan. Their importance in the economy and financial sector of Pakistan. The major reasons for their decline/incline nowadays, Problems faced by them in recent time and their tough competition from other financial institutions performing in the market. There are many risk factors that are blocking the performance of foreign banks, so in this research it is tried to get the deep understanding of impact of global financial crisis on the foreign banks and the following things: 1- The Factors involving the operations of foreign banks before and after global financial crisis. 2- The future opportunities of foreign banks operating in Pakistan. 3- What are the problems faced by foreign banks. 4- How are the risk factors hindering the performance of foreign banks. 5- What products should be focused by foreign banks for growth in future. 6- The strategies for the regulation and development of foreign banks in Pakistan 7- The Initiatives that should be taken to bolster foreign bank operations in Pakistan after global financial turmoil. So the statement of the problem can be: IMPACT OF GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS ON THE FOREIGN BANKS OPERATING IN PAKISTAN”. 1. 4 – SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY: This report is useful in deeply understanding the activities and services provided by the foreign banks operating in Pakistan . Their importance in the economy of Pakistan, this report will not only gives information about present status but also gives comprehensive information about the contribution and impact of foreign banks in the financial sector of Pakistan. This report is also useful for the students and teachers providing complete theoretical and practical information about foreign banks, their functions and operations with wider perspective. This research will be beneficial for the corporations, and researchers who are interested in knowing about the services of foreign banks that will be beneficial for them. This research will also be helpful for the foreign banks in getting information about their present status and future prospects, the opportunities and threats they are facing, and the risk faced by them in Pakistan and what new products and services they can indulge in to grow in the future. This research is also helpful for me to enhance my knowledge in understanding the operations and difficulties faced by the banks. 1. 5 – SCOPE OF STUDY: This study or analysis of the foreign banks will help in identifying the impact of global finacilal turmoil on foreign banks in the financial sector of Pakistan. It includes detailed study of top renowned foreign banks operating in Pakistan. The activities & services provided by them and performance and growth during the financial crisis. 1. 6 – Delimitations: The results are purely based on the information that is provided by the institutions, investors and from other secondary sources. The key factors that may hamper the present and future performance of investment banks are the economic conditions and government policies. This research is limited to the study of the impact of global financial turmoil on few of the foreign banks operating in Pakistan; these banks mainly include Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank, RBS Bank and HSBC Bank.

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