The State Bank of Pakistan is planning to launch 10 million pound financial innovation challenge fund. The SBP Deputy Governor Mr. Yaseen Anwar said that the purpose of the fund is to generate innovations in the areas of financial services products and delivery channels in the country. In his speech at the Inauguration ceremony of a NRSP finance bank at Bhawalpur, the Governor also said that SBP has also launched Improving Access to the Financial Services Fund (IAFSF). The purpose of the scheme is to improve the financial literacy among current and potential microfinance clients for understanding financial services and products. This will help them in understanding and managing the financial resources in more effective and efficient manner.

A nationwide program will be launched soon in various districts. He also said that SBP will continue to encourage the microfinance inclusion in the main banking stream. NRSP MFB is the resultant product of transformation of National Rural Support Program into Micro Finance bank. He also added that the transforming of a microfinance institution into Micro Finance bank is a long process, and the institution has to comply with new set of procedures, rules, regulations and policies set by the Central Bank.

According to the SBP NRSP holds 22% of market share, its commencement as Micro Finance Bank will increase the share of Micro finance banking considerably. The newly formed bank will be able to offer other services like deposit collection, remittances etc, besides offering micro-credits.

He said that State Bank of Pakistan is taking numerous steps and measures for the promotion of micro finance Banking and the formation of CIB for Microfinance banks on test basis in Lahore is also an important step in this regard.

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