NBP is Pakistan’s second largest bank after Habib Bank Limited. The bank caters for the needs of government institutions and employees. Owing to the vast network of the bank, a professional and experienced banker should be leading the organization therefore Asad Umar is in search of new NBP President. The bank increased its regional offices to 37 from 23 and registered an increase in its Profits i.e. after-tax earnings of Rs: 12.5 billion for the January-June period, registering a 46% increase.
The appointment of Former NBP President Saeed Ahmad was heavily linked with his relations with then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and the appointment became more scandalous once issue of Panama Papers came to light and Mr. Saeed Ahmed was linked with money laundering. Before that Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan has appointed Mr. Tariq Jamali, Senior Executive Vice President as the Acting President/Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Pakistan.
To replace him, government has shortlisted Arif Usmani, Nadeem Lodhi and Javed Kureishi, who all have been working in Citi Bank. Moreover, Mr. Wajahat Hussain and Atif Bajwa are also being considered but Mr Bajwa excused himself due to personal reasons. To finalize the names, a committee comprising Finance Minister Asad Umar, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce and Industry Abdul Razak Dawood and Adviser on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Husain conducted interviews on Friday.
Mr. Usmani has a vast experience of working in national and international banks. He has been working in Mashreq Bank, Global head of wholesale banking at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC and Managing Director and Country Officer of Citibank Pakistan. Similarly Mr. Kureishi has been the Asia head at Citigroup and has also worked as Chief Operating Officer of business in the Middle East. He has also represented Citigroup in Czech Republic. Mr. Lodhi has been the chief executive officer for Pakistan business at Citibank NA since April 24, 2012. He also served at Abraaj Capital and as the head of business in Sub-Saharan Africa at Abraaj Capital.
The finance minister has also shortlisted candidates for the posts of commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and members of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP). The process of finalizing the candidates for appointment as SECP commissioners, CCP members and NBP president is expected to be completed shortly; However, final decision will be made by the federal cabinet.
The Finance Ministry is conducting strict scrutiny of the candidates of these coverted posts and has taken affidavits about their nationality, past conduct and court cases. The aim of the government is to nominate professional, honest and upright persons who can take these institutions forward. It has however likely that either of Mr. Lodhi and Usmani will appointed as NBP President.