Muslim Commercial Bank


It has not so far been decided as to how the word ‘Bank’ originated.  Some authors opine that this word is derived from the words ‘Bancus’ or Banque’ which mean a bench.  Other authorities hold the opinion that the word ‘Bank’ is derived from the German word ‘Back’, which means ‘joint stock fund’.  It is therefore, not possible to decide as to which of the opinion is correct, for no record is available to ascertain the validity of any of the opinions.
Banking in fact is primitive as human society, for ever since man came to realize the importance of money as a medium of exchange, the necessity of a controlling or regulating agency or institution was naturally felt.  Perhaps it were the Babylonians who developed banking system as early as 2000 BC.  IT is evident that the temples of Babylon were used as ‘Banks’ because of the prevalent respect and confidence in the clergy.

There were 19 foreign banks with the status of small branch offices that were engaged solely in export of crop from Pakistan, while there were only two Pakistani institutions, Habib Bank of Pakistan and the Australian Bank. The customers of the bank are not satisfied with the uncertain condition of banking. Similarly the Reserve Bank of India was not in the favor of Govt. of Pakistan. The Govt. of Pakistan decided to establish a full-fledge central bank. Consequently the Governor-general of Pakistan Quaid-I-Azam inaugurated the State Bank of Pakistan on July 1, 1948. Thus a landmark was made in the history of banking when the state bank of Pakistan assumed full control of banking and currency in Pakistan. The banking structure in Pakistan comprises of the following types.

  • State Bank of Pakistan
  • Commercial Bank of Pakistan
  • Saving banks.
  • Cooperative banks
  • Specialized credit institutions.

Commercial banks have been the most effective mobilizers of savings and have been providing short-term requirements of working capitals to trade, commerce and industry.

Up to December 31, 1973, there were 14 Pakistan commercial banks that functioned all over the country and in some foreign countries through a network of branches.  All these commercial banks were nationalized in January 1, 1974, and were recognized and merged into the following five banks:

  • National Bank of Pakistan
  • Muslim commercial bank limited
  • Habib Bank Limited
  • United Bank Limited
  • Allied Bank of Pakistan

At the time of independence, there were 631 offices of scheduled banks in Pakistan, of which 487 were located in West Pakistan alone.  As a new country without resources it was very difficult for Pakistan to run its own banking system immediately.  Therefore, the expert committee recommended that the Reserve Bank of India should continue to function in Pakistan until 30th September 1948, so that problems of time and demand liability, coinage currencies, exchange etc. be settled between India and Pakistan.  The non-Muslims started transferring their funds and accounts to India.  By the end of June 1948 the number of officers of scheduled banks in Pakistan declined from 631 to 225.   

The state bank of Pakistan is the Central bank of the country and was established on July 1, 1948. The separation of East Pakistan and its repercussion in the form of economic depression has caused a lot of difficulties to the banking system in Pakistan.  The network of bank branches now covers a very large segment of national economy.  The numbers of branches have increased appreciably and there is now on branch of bank for every 3000 heads of population approximately.  There is done reasonable growth in deposits from the establishment of Pakistan.  Besides this growth, specialized credit and financial institutions have also developed over the years. 

The Government of Pakistan in the late 90’s introducing the need for the privatization of state owned banks and companies.  The private sector has accepted the challenge and most of the banks are privatized today. The State Bank of Pakistan issues the shares of these periodically.  Bank employees and other common peoples can also purchase these shares and earn profit.  Throughout the period of banking history the banks have been expanding rapidly and achieved the desired goal of progress.


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