Standard Chartered is by far the most cost-efficient bank in Pakistan. But should this be celebrated?

While the bank has become cost-effective, it has come at the cost of stagnant growth in deposit mobilisation.

As the earnings season draws to a close, we at Profit continue to be fascinated by the significant turnaround experienced by the banking sector in 2023. The rise in interest rates during the first half of the year led to strong markup income, ultimately boosting the overall earnings of commercial banks. 

While this publication has previously covered the risk arbitrage strategy utilised by financial institutions over the past twelve months, this time we explore a trend that is often overlooked when reporting on the financial results of commercial banks. 

The reference being made is to the cost-to-income ratio, and the bank that emerged as the most cost-efficient in the country is none other than Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, a medium-sized bank, with a cost-to-income ratio of only 17%. The average cost-to-income ratio of other 15 banks analyzed stands at 44%. This indicates that Standard Chartered is not only efficient but miles ahead of its peers.


To read the full article, subscribe and support independent business journalism in Pakistan

The content in this publication is expensive to produce. But unlike other journalistic outfits, business publications have to cover the very organizations that directly give them advertisements. Hence, this large source of revenue, which is the lifeblood of other media houses, is severely compromised on account of Profit’s no-compromise policy when it comes to our reporting. No wonder, Profit has lost multiple ad deals, worth tens of millions of rupees, due to stories that held big businesses to account.

Hence, for our work to continue unfettered, it must be supported by discerning readers who know the value of quality business journalism, not just for the economy but for the society as a whole.

(Already a subscriber? Click here to login)
  • Full Price Subscription Plans

    Not only will you be supporting independent journalism, 25% of the amount from your subscription will be used to subsidise those subscribers who cannot afford the full price of the subscription. Yearly full price subscription plans also include a complimentary annual subscription to The Wall Street Journal.


  • Subsidised Subscription Plans

    Pay part of the full subscription price, if you cannot afford to pay all of it, and the rest will be subsidised by a full paying subscriber.

  • Free Student Subscriptions

    If you are currently a student, you can claim an already-paid-for digital subscription, courtesy


Mariam Umar Farooq
Mariam Umar Farooq
The author is a business journalist and a member of the staff. She can be reached at [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular Posts