Habib Bank AG Zurich

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Habib Bank AG Zurich's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Habib Bank AG Zurich is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Satyajeet Roy, CEO
Habib Bank Zurich plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Habib
Bank AG Zurich, Switzerland. The bank commenced business
on April 1, 2016 with the transfer of assets and liabilities of its
predecessor bank, which operated as a branch in the UK until 2016.
With over 40 years of experience in the UK, the bank has created
a niche for itself in serving the business community, the bedrock of
the British economy. The bank’s clientele is typically small to medium-
sized enterprises (SMEs). CEO Satyajeet Roy elaborates.
Business requirements vary from sector to sector, and are continually evolving in
any business’s journey. The key to adapting to these requirements is to understand
individual needs and tailor your offering to suit the customer’s requirements. This is the
main feature of our model, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all offering, and it has served
us well, forming a core part of our business strategy. Our reliance on service quality
is also made evident in our reputation in the market as an “entrepreneur’s bank”,
which has resulted in many longstanding customer relationships. To this end, we were
delighted to welcome and thank several generations of our customers at a gala dinner
last year to celebrate our 50-year group anniversary in London.
Our target market clients are geared towards property investment, trading and small-
scale manufacturing. Their needs are accordingly centred on conventional commercial
banking products, including loans, overdrafts, deposits, current accounts, trade finance
and foreign exchange.
We have eight branches, which are spread across London, Manchester, Birmingham
and Leicester. Each branch has dedicated relationship managers and support teams
which help the customers with service continuity. This is a unique selling proposition
in today’s world – where the market is moving towards remote and faceless delivery –
and we maintain a high-touch relationship model, which enables a deep understanding
of customer needs and fosters agility in both decision-making and our ability to act in
clients’ best interests. This approach is driven by a focus on “service with security” and
our core values – commitment, teamwork, respect, responsibility, integrity and trust –
which are the building blocks of our business model and organisational culture.
A global institution
Habib Bank AG Zurich is a global franchise, with a presence in Europe, Southeast Asia,
South Asia, Middle East, Africa and North America.
Owing to its history from the Indian subcontinent, the “Habib” brand has built an
intrinsic value in entrepreneurial communities of South Asian diaspora settled in the
UK and across the globe. Habib’s customers, generally family-owned and managed
businesses, also relate to the bank’s history of family ownership and value, which has
been attached to business growth across generations.
Our global footprint provides international synergy for our clients in the UK and their
business interests around the world. This is again central to our group strategy of
»CEO: Satyajeet Roy
»Branch network across
London, Manchester,
Birmingham and Leicester
»Services: Banking, typically for
»Strong capital base and
»Direct membership of Image
Clearing System
»Over 35 per cent of customers
have been with the bank for
over ten years
»Last year celebrated a 50-year
group anniversary
Habib Bank AG Zurich
“relationship banking”, which is of
paramount importance when it comes to
forging strong and lasting relationships
with our customers. While our strategy
in different markets always adapts to
local requirements, the customer-centric
approach and focus on the best outcome
for the clientremainsunchanged.
Celebrating excellence
Our financial soundness and brand value
is built upon five key factors:
»Good governance and organisational
»Robust controls
»A focus on the customer journey
»Staying the course in areas of strength
and stated strategy
»A strong operational infrastructure
Over 35 per cent of our customers
have been with us for more than ten
years, in a marketplace where there is
a strong drive for wider choice and easy
switching between different banks;
the deep loyalty our clients have with
the bank is very encouraging. Another
highlight of our success has been the
recent acquisition of direct membership
of the Image Clearing System. This is a
significant achievement for our bank,
and reflects the robust nature of our
operational infrastructure and the skillset
of our employees. Considering it is a
small group of 17 banks who have this
membership, six of which are major high
street banks, it’s fair to say that we are
now part of an elite club.
Brexit and other risks
We take market risk seriously, and Brexit
continues to be a concern as witnessed
in industry forums and the press. Many
financial institutions are facing real
challenges related to the marketplace
and human resources. If the UK and
EU do not reach a Brexit deal, it would
mean a huge risk for the economy, and,
as per the Bank of England, “a material
event for considering the path of interest
rates”. We will continue to monitor
ongoing developments to mitigate any
potential risk.
We also feel that cybersecurity and
operational resilience is a major challenge
for the financial service industry. The
wider business community has faced
these risks on an increasing scale in
recent times. To address this, we strive to
stay vigilant and abreast of technological
and cybersecurity advancements,
and continue to invest in operational
infrastructure, thereby ensuring seamless
service delivery for ourcustomers.
Committed service
The UK was one of the first markets
in which we began operations in the
1970s, and we continue to value it as
a key market. With a history spanning
over four decades, we are confident
in our ability to continue delivering
In tandem with our operational
capabilities, the SME segment, especially
the south Asian diaspora, provides a
significant opportunity for growth in the
UK. We remain optimistic that we will
provide “the best service, with a human
touch” to our customers.
To summarise, we, as a bank, are driven
by our business model with customer
experience as a strong focus, built
upon a robust governance and control
framework and backed by a shareholder
who has a long-term view of the bank’s
UK franchise.
I would like to close with a note of
thanks to our customers for their
patronage, my management and staff
for their dedication, the shareholders for
their support and the board of directors
for their continuous guidance.
UK executive
UK head office - 42
of customer
needs, which
fosters agility
in decision-


This article was sponsored by Habib Bank AG Zurich. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister