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How to register a banking company in Pakistan?

How to register a banking company in Pakistan?


Registering a banking company in Pakistan is a comprehensive and regulated process that involves fulfilling specific legal requirements and obtaining necessary approvals from the relevant authorities.


Banking Company:

A banking company is an entity engaged in the business of accepting deposits, granting loans, and providing various financial services to individuals, businesses, and the government.

Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP):

The SECP is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing and regulating the banking sector in Pakistan. It ensures compliance with applicable laws and promotes investor protection.

Registration Process:

Preliminary Requirements:

a. Choose a Company Type: Determine the type of banking company you intend to establish, such as a public limited company or a private limited company.
b. Minimum Capital Requirements: Determine the minimum capital requirements set by the SECP for the type of banking company you wish to register.

Company Formation:

a. Name Reservation: Select a unique name for your banking company and reserve it with the SECP.
b. Memorandum and Articles of Association (MA&A): Draft the MA&A, which includes details about the company’s objectives, capital structure, governance, and operational procedures.
c. Incorporation: File the MA&A, along with other required documents, with the SECP to incorporate the banking company.

Licensing and Approvals:

a. Banking License Application: Submit an application for a banking license to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the central bank of the country, along with required documents, including the MA&A, feasibility study, and financial projections.
b. Fit and Proper Criteria: Ensure that the directors and key management personnel meet the fit and proper criteria defined by the SBP.
c. Due Diligence: Undergo a thorough due diligence process conducted by the SBP to evaluate the company’s financial strength, governance structure, risk management systems, and compliance capabilities.
d. Conditional Approval and Compliance: Upon fulfilling the requirements, the SBP grants conditional approval and issues a license subject to compliance with specified conditions.
e. SECP Registration: Register the banking company with the SECP after obtaining the banking license from the SBP.


To better understand the registration process, consider the following examples of two banking companies established in Pakistan:

ABC Bank:

ABC Bank is a public limited banking company in Pakistan. It commenced its operations in 2019 after successfully completing the registration process. The company met all regulatory requirements, including capital adequacy, governance standards, and compliance procedures. ABC Bank operates a network of branches nationwide, offering a range of retail and corporate banking services.

XYZ Microfinance Bank:

XYZ Microfinance Bank is a specialized banking company focusing on providing financial services to low-income individuals and micro-entrepreneurs. The company obtained its banking license from the SBP in 2022 after fulfilling all the necessary requirements. XYZ Microfinance Bank has made a significant impact by extending credit to underserved communities and promoting financial inclusion.

Case Studies:

Case Study 1: The registration process for ABC Bank involved extensive due diligence and scrutiny by the SBP. The bank had to demonstrate robust risk management systems, strong governance practices, and compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations. After meeting all criteria, ABC Bank obtained its banking license and successfully operates as a trusted financial institution in Pakistan.

Case Study 2: XYZ Microfinance Bank faced unique challenges during its registration process, mainly related to designing products and services tailored to the needs of the unbanked population. The bank’s management team collaborated with industry experts and conducted market research to develop innovative microfinance products. This approach helped XYZ Microfinance Bank gain recognition for its contribution to poverty alleviation.


Establishing a banking company in Pakistan requires adherence to a rigorous registration process governed by the SECP and the SBP. This process involves meeting capital requirements, drafting necessary legal documents, obtaining licenses, and complying with regulatory standards. Through examples and case studies, we have highlighted the significance of fulfilling regulatory obligations and the positive impact that banking companies can have on the economy and society as a whole.