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HBZ Bank Limited  
(A Subsidiary of Habib Bank AG Zurich) 
 South Africa
 

History

Habib Esmail



Mohammadali Habib


Founders of the Bank

The Habib Family ... Whilst the official history of Habib Bank AG Zurich is recorded since it's establishment in Zurich, Switzerland in 1967, the roots go back to mid 19th century, traced to the Indian Subcontinent with the copper and brass utensils manufacturing business established in 1841 by its founder Habib Esmail. Initially established as a company trading in metals and other commodities, it soon expanded into Trade Finance and Merchant Banking, a result of the integrity and entrepreneurial spirit of its founder. The success of this business led to the establishment of a fully-fledged commercial bank in 1941, operating as "Habib Bank Limited".

The partition of India in 1947 resulted in Habib Bank Limited, with its Head Office in Karachi, expanding its branches in East and West Pakistan. Upon the death of Habib Esmail, his son Mohamedali Habib, a talented businessman who ensured further rapid growth of Habib Bank Limited, assumed management of the Bank.

January the 1st 1974 witnessed the nationalisation of all Pakistani Banks, including Habib Bank Limited, which at the time was amongst the worlds top 200 Banks with 927 Branches in Pakistan and 42 Foreign Branches in 12 countries. The only asset left to the Habib Family was Habib Bank AG Zurich, which at that time was a modest operation with assets of 25 million Swiss Francs. This humble beginning, by the grace of God, became the basis from which the present global operation has risen.


A Swiss Bank now in South Africa

HBZ Bank Limited represents the first major investment in South Africa by a Swiss based Banking Group. HBZ Bank was launched in South Africa in 1995 with an initial capital investment of R 50 million. It currently operates branches in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng and has a division specialising in Islamic Banking. HBZ Bank Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Habib Bank AG Zurich. This ensures that services in the best Swiss traditions are provided to its South African customers. Whilst HBZ Bank Limited, registered in South Africa as a local commercial bank, diligently conforms to the requirements of the South African Reserve Bank; it also adheres and lives up to the Swiss Banking tradition of confidentiality and legendary service.

A truly International Bank
Since its establishment in Switzerland in 1967, Habib Bank AG Zurich has expanded into a truly international bank whose operations encompass over 40 branches, affiliates, subsidiaries and representative offices that span 4 continents including countries such as Switzerland, United Kingdom, Isle of Man, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Kenya, South Africa and Canada.

48 Years of Consistent Growth
With a track record of 48 years of consistent growth across the globe, by the Grace of God the total assets of Habib Bank AG Zurich have grown substantially. With a staff of dedicated professionals, it has accumulated a wealth of experience and expertise in dealing with the daily changing demands of Global Banking ensuring that it remains a force in International Banking.


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