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Askari Bank Limited

COMSATS Institute of Information Technology

Internship Report on Askari Bank Limited

Submitted to: Department of Management Sciences, COMSATS Islamabad Submitted by: Rahatullah Mallick FA09-BBA-128/ISB

Askari Bank Limited

Acknowledgement
I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Kiyani, Mr Iftikhar and Mr. Shahzad whose constant guidance and encouragement in the preparation of this internship report and during the course of my internship was a source of endless knowledge and practical experience. I would also like to thank Mr. Arif for facilitating and guiding me in the selection process regarding this internship as without him this would not have been possible in the first place and his kind behavior will forever be a source of endless encouragement. The staff from the manager to the lowest cadres are the ones who made this experience a memorable one and gave me a practical insight in to the business world as the experiences during the course of my internship were an excellent experience in terms of practical learning. On top of all these I would like to thank my parents and teachers who are a constant source of knowledge and motivation for me and whose prayers have raised me to the level where I am able to secure such opportunities. Thank you all

Askari Bank Limited

Table of Contents
Original/Attested Internship Letter...I Executive Summary ...II 1. Introduction ...5 1.1. Company Background (History) ......5 1.2. Objectives .....6 1.3. Organizational Structure ..7 1.4. Products or Services Offered ..10 2. Learning & Experience ...........18 2.1. Internship Duration & Rationale for Selection ..19 2.2. Department wise training ...19 2.3. SWOT Analysis of Askari Bank Limited ...21 2.4. Recommendations ..25 3. Conclusion 26 4. References.27 5. Personal Resume ......28

Askari Bank Limited

Executive Summary:
I did a 6 weeks internship at Askari Bank Limited Abbottabad branch located on Mansehra Road which started on the 9th of July 2012 and ended on August 20th 2012. As a compulsory requirement for students enrolled at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology; I completed my six weeks internship at the above mentioned organization. The purpose of this internship is to enable students who are about to pass out from the institute to get a taste of practical life, of how life would be and how we would handle the challenges it throws at us once we walk out from these gates. Those six weeks were a wonderful experience full of learning and understanding and putting the knowledge we learned into perspective. This report sheds light on what was learned during that time during my internship at Askari Bank Limited. This report starts with an introduction and from thereon follows the pattern that was kindly provided to us by our honorable institute covering the objectives, the operational details and lastly, what I learned as an internee at Askari Bank Limited. Established in 1991 it began its operations in 1992 and offers a wide portfolio of services while maintaining a close link with the Armed forces of Pakistan as it is currently owned by the Fauji Foundation and was previously owned by the Army Welfare Trust. As an internee I got to work in four important sections of the bank namely deposits, bills and remittances, accounts and credit. A through briefing followed by a vigorous routine are the characteristics of a banking job and my internship was no different where we were given large loads of work while keeping us motivated with learning throughout the course of our internship. My report is based on my learning experiences at Askari Bank Limited and how this experience has boosted professionalism and understanding in me.

Askari Bank Limited

1. Introduction:
Askari Bank Limited is a Pakistani bank currently owned with a majority share of 50.57% by the Fauji Foundation. It is a Pakistani bank which offers a wide portfolio of services ranging from basic banking facilities and credit options. It has a network consisting of 222 branches and the operating in three regions in Pakistan namely North region, Central region and South region with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit

Baltistan making up the North region while Punjab lies in the Central region and Sindh and Baluchistan making up the South region. Askari Bank Limited has a total of 263 ATMs (Automated teller machine) located across Pakistan serving both its own and customers of other banks. It enjoys a good PACRA rating of A1+ for short term liabilities and AA rating for its long term liabilities and also has its operations in Bahrain. In 2009, its revenue was Rs.1.1Billion, its net income was Rs.9.03Billion, its total assets amounted to Rs.25, 432Billion and it had 7279 employees. The map of Pakistan illustrates the major cities where Askari Bank carries out its operations.

1.1 History:
It was incorporated on 9th October 1991 and its stock was floated in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges at that time and the head offices at that time were located in Army Welfare Trust (AWT) plaza Rawalpindi also because it was initially owned by the AWT while Fauji Foundation only recently bought its majority shares.

Askari Bank Limited

Askari Bank Limited was the first bank in Pakistan to offer Internet Banking facilities and was also one of the first bank to offer business to business internet commerce which was a great help for businesses looking to purchase on credit. The main focus of Askari Bank Limited is that in the modern competitive and uncertain era, sustained and balanced growth is the key to success with unnecessary risk to be avoided at all costs because the purpose of any bank is to ensure the safety of its assets and not gambling in order to get higher profits.

1.2 Objectives:

Objectives are short statements that any organization issues in order to explain what they want to achieve or where they see themselves after a period of time. Organizational objectives have to be and usually are completely in line with the vision or the purpose of existence of an organization. A good way to gauge these objectives is to have a critical analysis of the vision and mission statement of that particular company. The vision statement of Askari Bank Limited is: To be the bank of first choice in the region.

Similarly, their mission statement is: To be the leading private sector bank in Pakistan with an international presence, delivering quality service through innovative technology and effective human resource management in a modern and progressive organizational culture of meritocracy, maintaining high ethical and professional standards, while providing enhanced value to all our stake-holders, and contributing to society.

Askari Bank Limited focuses its operations on the core values that it terms as

Commitment:

Passionate about our customers success and delighting them with the quality of our service.

Askari Bank Limited

Integrity:

A distinctive investment, delivering outstanding performance, return and value.

Fairness:

Exemplary compliance, governess and business ethics.

Teamwork:

Caring for our people and helping them to grow.

Service:

Dedication towards social developments and improvements in quality of life.

The vision statements and mission statements and the core values are relayed to every new individual that joins the organization and it is made sure that they comply by them no matter whatever the situation and never forget these because the customer is the primary focus.

1.3 Organizational Structure:

An organizational structure is the structure of any organization and tells a lot about that organization and gives all the stake holders important information about the degree of decentralization in the organization as well as who does what in any organization. Askari Bank is divided in terms of the groups or divisions present in it and then further division is done on the basis of the specific department while in reality a matrix like system exists in which different departments and bodies come together to perform all the banking operations. This can be further elaborated with the help of the organogram illustrated below:

Askari Bank Limited

Askari Bank Limited

As is pretty clear and evident from the organogram above, the bank operates in a matrix like fashion with various departments functioning in various areas under their respective and area heads. The organizational chart above is divided in terms of the three core activities i.e. the specialized business that is performed by the bank, the regular consumer banking carried out at the branches and the support that is provided to the banking activities in the form of operations and credit department support, planning and corporate, human resource and finance divisions with each department playing their vital role. There are three structures that any organization can follow namely functional, divisional and matrix structure. The matrix system is usually leaded by the heads made with respect to geographical locations with policies and rules being made by their respective support departments while the geographical heads are in charge of the overall performance which is measured in terms of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and targets that are set by the central authority. This particular matrix system is very useful in managing the ever growing bank with surprising ease as it allows for a very clear chain of command without the problem of a confused power structure in which no one in certain what to do and whom to report to. Every branch has certain people from credit, accounts, human resource etc. who collectively report to the Branch Manager who is answerable to the regional, then zonal and finally business heads who are all part of the team in charge of running the bank who report directly to the president. The functional heads sit in the regional or head offices from where they monitor the situation and implement and improve upon pre-existing policies and rules. The auditing is done at internal and external levels of the organization with internal audit being done by the banks own audit team while external auditors from the State Bank of Pakistan and KPMG Taseer Hadi and Co. which is a renowned auditing firm in Pakistan. All this ensures utmost security to all the stake-holders involved leaving no room for doubt in any operation or dealing of the bank what so ever. Similarly, the legal advisors of Askari Bank Limited are Rizvi, Isa, Afridi & Angell which is a legal firm located in Islamabad. The internal Audit committee consists of four members whose names are: Dr. Bashir Ahmad Khan (Chairman) Mr. Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi (Member) Mr. Wazir Ali Khoja (Member)
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Askari Bank Limited

Mr. Ali Noormahomed Rattansey (Member)

The board of directors of Askari Bank Limited as quoted on their official website on Febraury 10th 2013 consist of Lt. Gen. Javed Iqbal Lt. Gen. Tahir Mahmood Mr. Zafar Alam Khan Sumbal Dr. Bashir Ahmad Khan Mr. Shahid Mahmud Mr. Muhammad Riyazul Haque Mr. Ali Noormahomed Rattansey Mr. Malik Riffat Mahmood Mr. Wazir Ali Khoja Mr. Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi Mr. Muhammad Rafiquddin Mehkari Mr. M.A. Ghazali Marghoob

The executive profile of the bank cosists of the key people in the bank which includes the group heads of various groups present inside the bank. These are: Mr. Tahir Aziz (Group Head - Corporate & Investment Banking) Mr. S. Suhail Rizvi (Group Head Business Transformation) Mr. Haseeb Saulat (Group Head Marketing and strategic planning) Mr. Javed Iqbal (CIO Electronic Technology Division) Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad Sheikh (Electronic Technology Division)

1.4 Products/Services Offered:


Being a bank by the definition of the Corporate Law of Pakistan and being registered under that same law, Askari Bank offers a very wide and competitive variety of services to its thousands of customers all across Pakistan and were the pioneer in the field of Internet banking and providing e-solutions to B2B customers facilitating the purchase of merchandise on credit terms for them.
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Askari Bank Limited

There are some basic divisions in the bank according to the services that are offered which include: 1 Branch Banking: In branch banking there are a number of accounts which are offered to the general public and the employees of Amred forces and then the choice is made on the basis of the customers individual needs. The accounts that are offered are categorized as:

Askari Mahana Bachat Account:

This particular type of account is offered to the individual looking for a short term investment account. It offers investment options from 1 to 3 years and is particularly aimed at customers who want monthly profit from their savings. It is a term deposit account in which the money has to be placed for a certain period of time and is offered only to Pakistani citizens. The balance requirements of this particular type of account range from a minimum of Rs.50, 000 and can go as far as up to Rs.10, 000, 000. The payments are made at the 1st of every month and the profit rates are 7.6% per annum for 1 year term investments and up to 8.5% per annum o 3 year term investments. Askari Paishgi Munafa Term Deposit:

This unique type of account is there to cater to the investment needs of individuals who need profits right away on their medium term investments and in doing so the customer receives the entire profit of their investment straight away at the time of placement. This account too is made strictly for Pakistani nationals. It requires a minimum deposit of Rs.100, 000 or in multiples of 1 million for a tenure of 15 months and the return rate on this account is 7.5% per annum while this type of account offers the additional advantages of free VISA Debit card and no maximum limit for investment. Value Plus Current Account:

This particular account is a current account which although does not offer any monetary return but offers a number of other useful options for both an individual investor as well as small businesses or corporations for that matter. Some of the salient features of type of account for an individual investor are free issuance of ATM/VISA Debit card and very reliable insurance coverage for all
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Askari Bank Limited

types of cards plus the additional facility of On-line fund transfer facility, i-Net banking facility, duplicate account statements and issuance of cheque books meanwhile the individual has to ensure a minimum balance of Rs.25, 000 at all times. The same type of account also offers various advantages to businesses as well in the form of several free facilities such as on-line fund transfer facility, issuance of cheque books, issuance of pay orders / demand drafts and a 24/7 access to account statement through internet banking with duplicate account statements available whenever required. The minimum level of balance for businesses is Rs.100, 000. Value Plus Saving Account:

This is an account for people who want medium return rates on their investment along with other services which are included as free in the package. It offers 6% per annum with profit options for either three or six months or one year. Other services that are provided as free with this account are free issuance of ATM/VISA Debit Card, free global and local ATM Cash with drawl insurance while other free services include online funds transfer facility and internet banking services to name a few. Investment Certificates:

Like investment certificates from any reputable institution, the investment certificates from Askari Bank not only offer added security and the option of monthly profits but are also completely transferable and can be transferred to any third party. These are issued for a period of three period and the profit is paid on a monthly basis. These are issued and encashed free of cost while an existing account is not mandatory. While there is no penalty on pre-mature encashment there is no maximum limit on the purchase of these certificates and these can be encashed at any branch of Askari Bank anywhere in Pakistan and they also offer great security because in case of theft or loss there is always the option of replacement/refund to the original purchaser. The expected rates of return for the three month in that order are 6, 6.10 and 6.25% for the life of the certificate. Rupee Traveler Cheques:

These cheques are issued to eliminate the risk of carrying cash while travelling. These are for an amount of Rs.10, 000 and are completely valid until encashed. These can be purchased and encashed at any branch of Askrai Bank Limited and are enchased after the original purchaser signs

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the front of the RTC while a commission of Rs.30 is charged per RTC for holding it for 30 days or more. 2 Corporate Banking: In the corporate banking sector of Askari Bank Limited, the services offered are by the Corporate banking division and by the Investment banking division. Corporate Banking Division:

Corporate banking facilities are offered through three focused branches in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore and are primarily present to cater to the needs of large corporate customers. These divisions provide highly trained and experienced individuals that not only look after the needs of corporate individuals but are also constantly abreast with the latest developments in the market and the complete economy. A wide variety of services are offered to the corporate customers which range from working capital facilities, term loans, letters of guarantee and credit, bill discounting and export financing etc. Investment Banking Division:

This division focuses on the providing financial advisory as well as capital raising services to large institutional as well as corporate clients as well as making investments on behalf of the bank itself. The core purpose of this division is to provide investment related information to any corporate client which is seeking capital raising or investment information in national as well as overseas markets. This group also offers financial solutions such as debt syndications as well as project financing structures. It consists of 30 highly trained relationship managers with brilliant execution experience. 3 Agriculture Banking:

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Askari Bank Limited

Pakistan is an agricultural economy with agro based activities going on around the country at various levels and in different areas each with own special needs and it is purely due to this variety that there is a tremendous opportunity available for growth in this sector. Askari Banks Rural Business Division (ABRD) is one such division that focuses primarily on fulfilling the needs of agricultural and this division has gained phenomenal success in recent history. The products that are offered in the agricultural banking to farmers all over the Pakistan include: Kissan Evergreen Finance:

This is a profit earning account available only to Pakistani residents in which land is mortgaged against the financing provided. This account benefits the farmer in both ways because if it stays credit it earns profit for that farmer otherwise it is a source of immediate finance fulfilling the farmers agricultural needs. A special cheque book is issued to the farmer. The tenure of account is a yearly one and the profit on credit balances is paid on a half yearly basis. Also the markup is charged for the actual days the finance is utilized. Kissan Tractor Finance:

This is a profit earning account which can only be opened by a Pakistani resident for a tenure of 5 years. On account of more equity funding the farmer in this account can avail non-funded facility at a reduced cost. A bonus is paid to the farmer as a result of their good credit history at the end of the program if all the terms of sanction are met. Also the farmers as well as the tractor are insured against any possible contingency in this program providing a peace of mind. Also the propriety of the tractor will the given by the manufacturer after an agreement with the bank. Kissan Livestock Development Plan:

This particular type of financing is made available to the farmers to help them purchase livestock such as milk animals, goats, sheep, poultry and fisheries without having to incur additional expenditure and the said farmer must be a Pakistani resident to avail this type of financing. This sort of a program helps farmer earn on a daily basis to meet his own needs any pay off any liabilities. This revives and accelerates the earning capacity of the farmer and also enhances their repayment capacity.
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Askari Bank Limited

Kissan Farm Mechanization Finance:

This financing option helps farmers purchase farm machinery such as tractors, trailers, threshers, drills and rotavators etc and to avail this financing the farmer must be a Pakistani resident. Due to this type of financing the farmer is able to purchase modern farming machinery that is both cost saving and also increases the per acre yield and in doing so also helps the farmer to increase the quality of their crop to match or compete with international standards prevailing elsewhere that helps them in the export of their agricultural products. Kissan Abpashi Finance:

This type of financing is used to help farmers in the installation of tube wells, water channel developments and water management equipment and the farmer must be a Pakistani citizen to avail this type of financing. This financing helps farmers make the optimum use of the limited water resources and overcome the scarcity of water. A lot of water is wasted in the traditional sources and mechanized irrigation makes the optimum use of water making more area cultivable and helps farmers tap the natural water resources through water management practices. 4 Consumer Banking: This division mainly focuses on the auto finance, personal finance, mortgage finance, smart cards, Askari credit cards and Zarai credit cards etc. Consumer banking market is rapidly growing in Pakistan and Askari Bank Limited is targeting the market with an aim to capture as much of it as possible while offering new and innovative services all the time and all of this is done while keeping a close eye on the risk asset portfolio. The products offered under this division are: ASK 4 CAR:

This financing can be used to finance both new and used cars with an 18% markup for the 3 year plan, 19% for the 4 year plan and 20% for the 5 year plan. The down payment that can be made in this financing ranges from a minimum of 15% to a maximum of 60%. Insurance is mandatory in this financing and for used vehicles the markup rate is slightly higher with a 20% markup for the

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Askari Bank Limited

3 year plan and 21% for 4 year plan and for the used vehicles, they must not be older than 5 years at the time of loan. While 800CC used vehicles are not covered in this type of financing. Personal Finance:

These financing options are only available to Pakistani residents at the moment and the person applying for the loan must be at least 21 years of age and a maximum of 61 years of age with a minimum monthly salary of Rs.30, 000 with their employment having at least a tenure of 1 year remaining. The markup for secured personnel is 19% and that for unsecured personnel is 21% in which the debt burden is a maximum of 50% of their net disposable income. This is a very easy and secure loan option for salaried individuals who are willing to secure short term loan for relatively small expenditures. Mortgage Finance: A home of ones self is a dream of any individual and Askari Bank has made the realization of this dream very easy with rather flexible home loans available for individuals in urban areas of Pakistan aged between 23-65 years of age. The bank helps in the purchase and construction of the house as well as renovation of old houses with balance transfer facility also available. Houses plus apartments are covered under this particular type of financing. VISA Debit Card:

Any individual having an account with Askari Bank Limited can have access to an Askari VISA Debit Card which eliminates the risk of carrying large sums of money while travelling or shopping at busy places because payments can be done via the card thus eliminating the need for carrying cash and cash with drawls can also be made at ATMs with this type of card with a limit of Rs.50, 000 on the classic card and Rs.100, 000 on the gold card and besides that the shopping limit on the classic card is Rs.200, 000 while it is Rs.250, 000 on the gold card and the funds transfer limit of the classic card is Rs.250, 000 and Rs.300, 000 on the gold card.
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Askari Credit Cards:

Credit cards are issued to Pakistani residents only and to get one of these the resident must be a salaried individual with or a supplementary income person with the minimum age limit being 2161 for the basic card upper limit changed to 65 for SEP/SEB while the age limit on supplementary has a minimum of 18 and no upper limit. After this the rates and the limits change in response to the collateral placed and a card is provided only after complete and thorough examination of all the documents provided. 5 Islamic Banking: Askari Bank is striving hard to satisfy customer needs in regard to Islamic practices and needs. The efforts in this regard are put into practice a completely efficient banking system that not only meets the economic justice but also the Sharia standards. There are currently 29 branches in major cities in Pakistan that provide only Islamic banking solutions. The products and services that are offered in this division are as follows: Askari Ijarah Bis Sayyarah

This is auto financing offered by the Islamic banking division. It is a rental agreement of sorts in which the cost of an automobile is transferred to the user under a pre-settled agreement and it is a Sharia compliant mode of financing which is completely halal. Under this there is no insurance from the bank and any risk to the vehicle or the owner themselves is borne by the owner. This can only be availed by Pakistani residents between the ages of 21 to 60. Askari Home Musharakah

This is a house financing facility offered by the Islamic banking division that enables customers to visualize the dreams of owning a house without having to pay interests. Under this type of financing customers can purchase, transfer, renovate or improve their houses or apartments and under the rules of Musharakah a joint ownership is formed between the bank and the customer. After the down payment or the share of the customer that has been paid the share of the bank is divided in to multiples of rent which are then paid by the customer. Furthermore an existing interest
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based house financing can be converted into Islamic house financing with the guarantee of prompt processing. Askari Islamic Deposit Schemes:

There is an Islamic advisor at every Askari Islamic Banking branch who guides about the various types of accounts that are present in this form of banking and the types that are available in Islamic banking are AHSAN accounts which are savings accounts and offer profit on monthly basis which are made with the concept of risk bearing. Then there are AHSAN Munafa accounts which offer profit on monthly basis which is made on a daily product basis and lastly there is the AHIA account which is primarily an investment account which offers investment certificates with maturities ranging from monthly, quarterly, half yearly to yearly basis.

This is complete product range that is currently being offered by the Askari Bank Limited and is competitive in every way and is the prime reason why it is the choice of thousands of customers all over the country.

2. Learning & Experience:


Internships at university level are provided primarily to give an insight of the practical world relevant to our field of study. By working in an organization we learn of the various ways in which knowledge can be implemented practically and in doing so not only do we know about our true capabilities but also experiences like these serve to broaden our knowledge base even further.

For my summer internship I applied at Askari Bank Limited for a 6 weeks internship and dropped my application with the internee in charge at the Abbottabad branch where he explained that after conducting short interviews the short listed applications were sent to the Peshawar head office for selection and it was with the approval of the Area Head that any individual is allowed to do an internship.

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Askari Bank Limited

2.1 Internship Duration and rationale for selection:


Besides being a requirement of CIIT Islamabad for students in their last semester to apply for internships, the rationale for the internship besides that was to gain the maximum amount of experience possible before going out in to the practical world and the internships one does at this point of academic life have a significant impact later on in the early stages of the career. Being a finance majors student, my preferred career of choice was obviously something related to financial markets and banks provided an attractive opportunity in this regard so I applied at a number of banks in Abbottabad and chose Askari as they were the first to reply and their professional manner seemed a convincing proof of their excellent Human Resource group. I did a six weeks internship from Askari Bank Limited in Abbottabad under the supervision of the internee in charge there Mr. Shahzad Khan. I learned a lot under his kind guidance and supervision and he made me learn and work in nearly all sections of the bank.

2.2 Department wise training


My internship started in the accounts department where I learnt about the work related to the accounts section which is primarily doing the work of checking all the financial activity going on in the bank and it is done on both the customers and the banks expenditure level. The daily activity that happens on one day is matched to the reports generated by the banks central information system on the other day and proof of the transactions in the shape of cheques, deposit drafts or online vouchers are checked for the information that is provided in the report and then if cleared they are saved to be inspected by all the auditors and in case there is a problem and some record is missing, the bank staff goes to tremendous lengths to recover the missing articles and then move the reports because besides affecting their personal performance it also has a bad effect on the banks and the branchs overall performance in the shape of an objection from the audit team.

After that I did some work with the credit department which is basically related to processing all the credit related work of the bank. They work on the credit process from the start to the eventual end of any credit process and even though they work in the same building they have their own
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Askari Bank Limited

separate team which has nothing to do whatsoever with the normal working staff and they work with their selected employees only. When a person applies for credit at Askari Bank Limited, the entire credit process starts in which complete inspection of documents in done and then only are the loans allowed to proceed with prior approval from the area head. Credit departments also deals with issuing foreign guarantees in the form of Letters of Credit which is basically a guarantee to a foreign bank for a local account holders in the matters of purchase of merchandise which may range from chemicals to refurbished cars.

The third and perhaps the most vital department of any bank is the deposits department which works at the branch level and this particular department is responsible for the trading of funds and maintaining different accounts. Deposit department is where the accounts are opened, clients are served and are provided with basic information about banking that ranges from simple information like opening an account to investing in the various investment opportunities that a bank provides.

Last department where I worked was the bills and remittances department which is assigned with the task of handling interbank and intercity transactions. Intercity transactions in a bank are done with the help of an online statement which is used for on-net transactions as each bank branch in Pakistan has a unique code so if money is to be sent to any branch then it is sent to that particular branch via the central management system which in Askari Bank is known as FlexCube. In case of interbank transactions, the money is transferred with the help of cheques which are sorted out by the various sorting houses State Bank has opened in different cities of Pakistan to facilitate and quicken this process. These collect all interbank transaction items from different banks and supply them to the desired destination.

From my observation of the staff that was working at Askari Bank, I concluded that the staff working there was highly motivated and trained in their jobs and had the capacity to manage nearly every contingency that arose during the tenure of my internship. Proper testing and standards are used at the time of hiring and courtesy to those the workforce that results is a skilled and motivated one and the rather high remuneration policy of the bank also ensures that the staff stays motivated not letting loose at any moment. Secondly, the managers take keen interest in even the slightest
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details of the activities going around in the bank and visit everybody on nearly daily basis and inquire them about their work which I believe insures quality and motivation.

2.3 SWOT Analysis of Askari Bank


Every organization has several weaknesses and strengths and in light of those it faces certain opportunities and threats. The banking sector in Pakistan is a massively competitive one with competitors offering new and improved services with every passing day and to survive in such a situation, a bank has to ensure top notch quality and innovation at all times in order to catch and retain customers. The SWOT Analysis is a management tool used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of an organization which are a part of internal environment as well as analyze the opportunities and threats it faces which are a part of its external environment.

Strengths

One of the leading banks in the industry: Askari Bank Limited is one of the leading banks in the industry with a net worth that easily places it in the top five and annual profits that ensure good return for the investors and all the stakeholders in general and it also has a high number of online branches in Pakistan thus offering more convenience to its customers. Automated operations: The policies and guidelines in the bank are very clear and strict with regard to the operations and the manner in which they should be performed and majority of the operations that are occurring at the moment are done electronically with the help of the new computerized management system. Large ATM Network: Askari Bank Limited has one of the largest ATM networks in the country and records show that it is very rare that an ATM at Askari Bank suffers from a problem like a down link or out of cash because prompt management by the managers ensures that such lapses do not occur in the first place. This is also a source of revenue for Askari Bank as clients of other bank u se ATMs of
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Askari Bank due to their superior quality and strategic positioning thus becoming a source of revenue. Tailored solutions: The management at Askari Bank believes in the customer and not so much in the product and are always more than willing to alter or tailor their products to suit the needs of the customer because at the end of the day a happy customer is all that matters. Priority Banking: A high level of priority and importance is given to large or corporate clients with a separate manager always there to address any concern of theirs in rather lavish surroundings thus giving a feel of high banking standard and environment. Ethical concerns and public image: Askari Bank shows deep ethical concerns and makes sure as to negate any feeling of hatred both Inside and outside the organization.

Weaknesses:

Lack of technical training: Although the staff in charge of handling technical operations is highly trained, technical knowhow in lower levels is still not that much, the bank needs to make arrangements in order to promote this in the lower levels. Manual records: Despite having a state of the art computerized management system the staff still relies on traditional hand written book keeping along with electronic entries with the excuse that electronic systems are not always reliable and this activity of theirs wastes time. High degree of centralization: Askari Bank Limited has a very high degree of centralization in it with the lower staff having to ask the permission from the higher ups in every matter and can do nothing to resolve the problem of a client on urgent basis and another problem due to this level of centralization is that it makes two way communication very difficult. Lack of training facilities:
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For the new recruits there is no specific training program or facility and most of them are straight away sent to the branches where they learn about the operations by actually doing them which sounds fine on paper but in reality it amounts for a lot of errors which cost customers plus they take a lot of time to pick the normal pace of work.

Opportunities

Islamic banking: Islamic banking is a rising field in the Pakistani banking industry with nearly all the banks competing in this section and Askari has only a few branches to cater those needs so they first of all need to step up their attention in the Islamic banking sector. Customer deposits: With the customer base increasing at a steady rate the deposits are also slowly climbing so there is a good chance for investment by the bank because some of their customers like those from the Armed forces are guaranteed and are a source of huge deposit base. Rural Areas: Rural areas present a golden opportunity for any bank in Pakistan because development is taking place at a high rate and soon the areas which were once neglected will present golden business opportunities. Technological upgrades: Even though it is a costly fixed expenditure still a lot of banks are moving towards technological upgrades and for a bank with this large a customer base technological upgrades can only be but profitable.

Threats

High turnover: Turnover is a little high in Askari Bank and in my understanding it is not due to the remuneration policies but the high level of centralization which provides little or no space for the self-motivated personnel. As soon as they get a better opportunity, they switch.
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High commissions: The commissions and charges by the bank for some of the facilities are alarmingly high this is a very serious situation for the bank as those customers can be snatched by the other banks then. Lower rates of return: The rates of return offered by Askari Bank are not that high and as a result they have a hard time convincing customers to invest in the bank primarily due to this reason.

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2.4 Recommendations:
The recommendations that I would give to Askari Bank Limited as a result of my observation during my stay of 8 weeks are that:

They should seriously consider about training both their senior and junior management in order to make them more up to date. Decentralization is a must for them at this stage because not only is it killing potential it is also resulting in unsatisfied customers. Technical training should be provided to all the existing staff and proper testing should be done afterwards with the testing weightage in the final appraisal. Proper training of a global standard should be provided for the new recruits in order to keep them abreast with the latest developments in the industry. A more corporate atmosphere should be promoted throughout the bank cutting the old status quo currently existing. Competitive return rates would have to offered, the bank may try cutting expenses, revising policies or anything of the sort but higher returns would have to be offered by the bank to win more clients.

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Askari Bank Limited

3. Conclusion:
My purpose of internship apart from being a degree requirement was to gain practical knowledge and knowhow about the job market and it has been an experience full of learning and knowledge. It provided me with ample guidance and experience about the banking sector which I consider to be a possible career choice for myself. It also served to mold me in a more professional and mature person then I was before. The choice of the organization could have been better I think in my mind now but it was nonetheless a pleasant experience and an experience I would certainly want to be a part of again.

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Askari Bank Limited

4. References: 1, Official website of Askari Bank Limited.


www.askaribank.com.pk 2, Wikipedia www.wikipedia.com

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Askari Bank Limited

5. Personal Resume: RAHATULLAH MALLICK


House # 342 Upper Malikpura, Abbottabad D.O.B May 15th 1990 Mobile 03349141809 E-mail rahatmallick@gmail.com

Objective: To excel in a dynamic environment as a finance manager where my previous studies and attained skills will compliment my work. I would like to give my best to the organization in which I work by realizing its goals. Education: 2009-Present: Bachelor of Sciences in Business Administration BS (BA) COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad 2007-2009: Intermediate FSc. Pakistan International Public School & College for boys, Abbottabad 2005-2007: O Levels (GSCE) Pakistan International Public School & College for boys, Abbottabad Achievements: Skills: Excellent typing and MS Office skills Firm command over English Language Leadership skills Analytical Hierarchy Process CGPA 3.25 Secured scholarship in the first two semesters of BS (BA) House Prefect in college

References: Can be provided if requested.

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