Mashreq, the MENA-based financial institution, has successfully expanded into Pakistan – marking a significant milestone in its strategic expansion plans and underlining its commitment to driving digitisation and financial inclusion in high-growth markets.

Mashreq explained it is committed to fostering growth across Pakistan by utilising local talent and expertise. By creating a digital ecosystem supported by robust infrastructure and institutional frameworks, Mashreq aims to drive digital innovation and significantly enhance financial inclusivity in the country.

The bank for the MENA region also revealed plans to launch digital banking operations in Pakistan, after the successful incorporation of the country.

Mashreq has already established a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Pakistan to deliver a portfolio of innovative products. Leveraging its successful incorporation in Pakistan, Mashreq hopes its involvement in the country can lay the foundation for a partnership that benefits consumers, businesses, and the economy.

To mark its expansion, a high-level Mashreq delegation, including senior members of the executive committee, visited Pakistan to strengthen ties and consider collaboration to recognise the milestone alongside independent board members Syed Naseer Hassan and Rashid Khan.

Fernando Morillo, group head of retail banking at Mashreq, said, “Our foray into Pakistan is a pivotal moment for Mashreq, marking a new chapter in our strategic expansion.

Fernando Morillo, group head of retail banking at Mashreq

“We eagerly anticipate the opportunities to collaborate with local stakeholders and contribute towards a robust digital ecosystem that will transform the country’s financial landscape.

“We are committed to playing a vital role in the country’s digitisation efforts and financial development, particularly in the sectors of SME, payments, and inclusion. The bank’s tech-ready infrastructure, coupled with its digital DNA, will empower customers in the market, meet their evolving needs, deliver seamless banking experiences and support the country’s vision of a financially inclusive, digitally-led economy.”

A “forward-thinking and responsible approach”

The news comes shortly after Mashreq revealed its strong financial results for the first half of 2023. The firm saw a 150 per cent surge in net profit in the six-month period – seeing an operating profit of AED 3.7billion. It also saw a healthy growth of 11.4 per cent year to date in customer deposits to reach AED 126.8billion.

Ahmed Abdelaal, group chief executive officer of Mashreq, discussed the company’s positive performance: “Assessing Mashreq’s robust performance in the first half of 2023, it is evident that our strategic initiatives have been instrumental in shaping this success.

Ahmed Abdelaal, CEO
Ahmed Abdelaal, CEO of Mashreq

“With an exceptional 88 per cent YoY increase in operating profit, rising to AED3.7 billion, and a marked reduction in our cost-to-income ratio to 28.3 per cent, the strength of our approach is clear.

“Mashreq’s international expansion strategy, particularly our entry into Oman and the launch of digital banking operations in Pakistan, alongside our commitment to sustainability, embodied by our LEED Zero Energy certified headquarters, underline our forward-thinking and responsible approach.

“The inclusion in the World Green Building Council programme further asserts our leadership in steering the MENA region towards a net-zero trajectory, in line with the principles of COP28 in the UAE, and the UAE Net Zero 2050 strategy.”

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