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Da Afghanistan Bank has licensed 12 commercial banks to date. Out of twelve, seven banks are full-fledged commercial banks and the remaining five are branches of foreign banks. The full-fledged commercial banks include: Bank-e-Millie Afghan or National Bank (parastatal bank); Pashtany Tejarati Bank or Pashtany Commercial Bank (parastatal bank); Export Promotion Bank (parastatal bank); First Microfinance Bank (an Aga Khan/IFC joint venture); Kabul Bank (a solely Afghan-owned bank); Afghanistan International Bank (an ING-affiliated enterprise with American equity); and, Arian Bank (joint venture of Bank-e-Mille “National Bank” of Iran and Bank-e-Saderat “Export Bank” of Iran). The branches of foreign banks include: Standard Chartered Bank (UK); National Bank of Pakistan (Pakistan); Habib Bank Limited (Pakistan); Punjab National Bank of India (India); and Bank Alfalah Limited (Pakistan). There is a small number of non-bank financial institutions (11 micro-finance institutions, one credit union and one leasing company), but these institutions meet only a small fraction of credit needs. There are no credit bureaus or credit rating agencies.

Standard Chartered Bank of the United Kingdom opened for business in Afghanistan in January 2004 with an initial investment of USD 1.5 million. They are one of the pioneering banks in Afghanistan that have introduced modern banking facilities to the country. They aim to roll out full service facilities, including automatic teller machines, internet banking and cash management services in all 32 provinces. Currently, they cater to more than 3500 customers including both corporate and retail clients.

The First Micro-Finance Bank of Afghanistan, with a total investment is USD 3 million, is a full-service financial institution providing both credit and savings products. It is the first commercially sustainable micro-finance institution in Afghanistan contributing to the development of micro-finance as a viable and attractive commercial activity, and providing financial services to the poor and underserved. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) is majority shareholder with the IFC taking a shareholding of 25 percent.
240 Argyle Ave. Ottawa, Ontario, K2P-1B9 | Phone: (613) 563-4223 / 65 | Fax: (613) 563-4962 | contact@afghanembassy.ca