Pakistani challenger HugoBank has been granted an in-principle approval for its Digital Retail Banking (DRB) licence from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Headquartered in Karachi, the new challenger bank will position itself as a retail bank offering digital financial services to boost financial inclusion in Pakistan by providing access to quick account opening, payments and fund transfers, bill payments and credit products.
HugoBank, a collaborative project of a Singapore-based consortium including Atlas Consolidated, The Getz Group, and Muller & Phipps Pakistan, first received its NOC from the SBP in January this year. In March, it appointed Atyab Tahir as its new CEO.
Following the preliminary approval, HugoBank now aims to focus on its “operational preparedness” in accordance with SBP’s guidelines for digital banking licencing.
“Our aim is to first launch a pilot for the general public, followed by a full commercial phase,” the challenger states.
Ray Simkins, chairperson of the board of HugoBank, says the new digital bank aims for the “betterment of Pakistan by building digital offerings that increase GDP, fostering financial inclusion, and making a tangible difference in the livelihoods of countless individuals”.
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