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  • An HBL Microfinance Bank beneficiary from Gilgit runs her own farm.
Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development
A bank with a soul: How HBL is enriching lives

The biggest bank in Pakistan, HBL’s spending on social and developmental causes is the highest of any bank in the country. It has supported an array of public- and private-sector projects and organisations, with a focus on community development, financial inclusion, health and education.

“We are intrinsically linked with the nation’s fabric and its people. We understand that a functional civil society is predicated on economic progress and social development, which can work towards mitigating climate change,” said Sultan Ali Allana, Chairman of HBL.

HBL is committed to sustainable development and promoting high levels of environmental, social and governance practices in the banking industry. Its businesses, investments and operations are strategically designed to create a more sustainable, equitable and financially inclusive world, where the present population can meet their needs without borrowing or depleting the resources of future generations.

The Bank has just published its first Impact and Sustainability Report.

Protecting the environment

Like other AKDN agencies and institutions, HBL aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. It no longer finances coal projects, or any industries that contribute to deforestation. HBL Microfinance Bank’s regional headquarters in Gilgit, Pakistan is AKDN’s first IFC-EDGE and LEED-certified building, and these standards are being incorporated into other office buildings. 

In 2021, HBL won the prestigious Environment Excellence Award from the National Forum for Environment & Health, affiliated with the UN Environmental Programme and supported by Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change. 


ACT Group Windfarms, Jhimpir, Sindh, financed by HBL.

Reaching underserved populations

HBL provides easy access to financial services for those previously lacking access to banking, such as residents in remote areas or those with little financial education. Viewing itself as “a technology company with a banking licence”, the Bank uses digital tools such as HBL Konnect, which serves 7.1 million customers across the country. HBL also designs programmes and services to meet women’s financial needs.


HBL Konnect Agents in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, HBL’s digital systems enabled the delivery of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme, the largest social safety net initiative in Pakistan’s history. Over 14 million families received a cumulative PKR 175 billion.


Beneficiaries receive Ehsaas funds in Lahore.

HBL Microfinance Bank Limited offers products ranging from agricultural and livestock farming to enterprise and housing loans, serving over 1.8 million customers.

A development finance initiative uses a “Farm-to-Fork” ecosystem for farmers, where agronomists provide advice, inputs and services to help them increase their yields. The initiative assists farmers to secure tenure rights to land and also supports women’s land ownership.

HBL has implemented the National Financial Literacy Programme. This has increased the financial awareness of over 92,000 low-income beneficiaries across Pakistan, 69 percent of whom are women.

Giving back to the community

HBL Foundation is the non-profit arm of HBL and conducts most of the Bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) work. The Bank allocates one percent of its yearly profits after tax to the Foundation. The Foundation has distributed PKR 2.7 billion to over 200 initiatives and organisations all over Pakistan, directly impacting around 9.5 million lives. Allocations are based on merit, need and social impact and are carefully vetted by the Foundation. From 2023, HBL is increasing its philanthropic funding to 1.5 percent of its profits after tax.


Public schools in Punjab, managed by The Citizens Foundation, which is funded by HBL Foundation.

“We have built a strong team from diverse fields: engineers, social scientists, agronomists and technology experts. A broad base of people who, through their expertise, are effectively our
eyes and ears to observe how society is changing and help us devise strategies that are based on broader implications than just financial and that benefit humanity and the planet,” said Muhammad Aurangzeb, President & CEO of HBL.

To meet its goals, HBL emphasises:

  • development finance to uplift the entire agriculture-based economy across Pakistan, improving the lives of small farmers;
  • sustainable use of resources to reduce its own environmental impact;
  • financial inclusion through technology-based solutions;
  • a CSR strategy that contributes to health, education, community development, art, culture and public engagement;
  • inclusive gender equity and diversity training and learning programmes for HBL employees;
  • strategically targeted investments in businesses that contribute to social development objectives; and
  • a code of ethics that sets the tone for proper conduct and ethical behaviour in conducting
    business and personal interactions.

Read the report to find out more about how HBL is working to improve the quality of life in Pakistan.