British International Investment

Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Limited

South AsiaFinancial services

Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered plc. It is the oldest and largest international bank in Pakistan

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We invested in Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan to increase lending to the microfinance sector. The facility is expected to lead to sustained and improved economic opportunities and financial resilience by increasing access to credit for low-income populations.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.



Sustaining and increasing economic opportunities by providing access to credit for entrepreneurs, as well as enhancing resilience to economic shocks.


Primary Secondary
  • Direct: The facility can deploy up to $40 million in credit (our share is 50 per cent) with local currency loans of up to $10 million per microfinance institution. Increased credit will enable microfinance institutions to maintain and extend greater credit – in the form of individual loans – to its customers, including entrepreneurs of micro-businesses and farmers. In turn, this will allow them to better manage cashflow, and maintain and grow their businesses.
  • Catalysing markets: Currently, local currency lending to microfinance institutions in Pakistan is relatively thin (c.50 per cent of funding to microfinance institutions in Pakistan is estimated to be in foreign currency). In addition, ticket sizes are usually larger and do not meet the funding needs. By supporting Standard Chartered Bank in setting up a microfinance institution lending programme, we will improve access to local currency financing at smaller ticket sizes.

In the medium-term, the ambition is that local financial institutions will expand financing to microfinance institutions, and that Standard Chartered Bank’s support will go deeper by offering credit to smaller or lower-rated microfinance institutions.


Stakeholder Geography Characteristics


Lending is expected to go to underbanked and low-income borrowers, mostly women.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

the facility will generate approx. ~100,000 loans annually

  • Duration: Three years i.e. lifecycle of the facility.
  • Depth: Expected to be deeper due to underlying populations facing higher levels of poverty and poor access to financial services.


  • Financial additionality: Commercial capital is not available in sufficient quantity.
  • Value additionality: Improvement of processes, practices, and standards, including client protection, impact monitoring systems, environmental and social management systems.


Execution Risk
  • risks relate to the under-utilisation of the facility and customer protection.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We agreed on an ESAP focused on (i) developing an ESMS commensurate with the environmental and social risks of the underlying Micro Finance Institution (MFI) transactions, and (ii) updating human resources policies and procedures related to safeguarding.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    First published

    When the investment was first published on the website database.

    July 2023
    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    June 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    South Asia

    The countries where the investment delivers impact. Where impact is delivered in multiple countries, this is indicated.


    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Financial services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    January 2023
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.


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