A list of the top banks in Pakistan

Gert Svaiko

Planning a move to Pakistan from the UK? Perhaps you’re setting up a business there, or moving there for work, study or to visit family.

Whichever is the case, you could find it useful to open a local bank account in Pakistan. This can help you pay bills and get paid if you’re working.

But which is the best bank to choose? Read on for a full overview of all your options, including details of the top accounts each bank offers.


Banking in Pakistan (an overview)

Pakistan’s growing banking sector is made up of a mix of local and international banks, along with Islamic banks. All are regulated by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Opening a bank account in Pakistan is relatively straightforward, usually requiring an online or in-branch application with the following documents:¹

  • Proof of employment/income
  • A valid passport
  • Proof of address, such as a copy of a recent utility bill
  • Documents proving the origin of your initial deposit.

If you’re new to the country, you may need to open a ‘non-resident account’ first. This may have higher fees and limited features.

In terms of fees, you may encounter some accounts with a monthly maintenance fee, although there are free options out there. It should be free to use your bank’s ATM to withdraw cash, but charges are likely to apply if you use other bank’s ATMs. You may also pay a fee to get a debit card.

And like many other countries, banks in Pakistan tend to charge high fees for overseas transfers.

If you need to manage your money internationally and want to save money, check out the Wise account instead.

Learn more about the Wise account 🚀

Top 10 banks in Pakistan

Let’s take a look at some of your options when it comes to choosing a bank in Pakistan.

Here are some of the country’s biggest and most popular banks:

Bank nameOperational HQ
National Bank of PakistanKarachi
Habib BankKarachi
United BankKarachi
MCB BankLahore
Allied BankLahore
Askari BankIslamabad
Meezan BankKarachi
Bank AlfalahKarachi
Faysal BankKarachi
Standard Chartered Bank PakistanKarachi

National Bank of Pakistan

The biggest state-owned bank in the country, the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) also has one of the largest networks of ATMs and branches.

Options for personal customers include current and savings accounts, cards and loans. A popular choice at NBP is the Izafi Munafa Account, designed for everyday use and savings. It offers interest on your money, mobile banking and unlimited debit and credit transactions. However, you do need to maintain a minimum balance throughout the year.²

NBP also offers business accounts, corporate banking services, Islamic banking, international payments and many other services.

Habib Bank

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) is another of the largest banks in Pakistan, although this one is a private sector institution. It offers an enormous range of accounts, cards, loans and other services to personal customers.

This includes the HBL Conventional Current Account, which comes with a debit card, online/mobile banking and unlimited transactions. There is a service charge unless you can maintain a minimum balance in the account. ³

HBL also provides business banking, Islamic banking and prestige banking, plus wealth management and remittance services.

United Bank

One of the oldest and largest private sector commercial banks in Pakistan, United Bank Limited (UBL) also has an overseas presence - operating in multiple countries worldwide. It’s also known for leading the way on digital banking innovation.

One of the most popular options for personal customers at UBL is the UBL Asaan ‘Easy’ Digital Account. It’s simple to open, has no initial deposit or minimum balance requirements and can be managed online. However, you’ll need to check whether there are any monthly fees for either the account or debit card.⁴

UBL also offers credit cards, savings accounts, insurance and consumer loans. Plus, SME, business, corporate, investment and premium banking services.

MCB Bank

With a history dating back to 1947, MCB Bank is one of Pakistan's oldest banks. It’s headquartered in Lahore, but has a wide network of branches and ATMs nationwide.

The bank’s digital MCB Asaan Account is a popular choice for personal customers. It has no minimum balance requirement, nor any service charges for opening or closing the account.⁵ You can get a debit card with the account, but there may be fees attached.

Besides this, MCB also offers a huge range of other current and savings accounts, along with loans, cards, remittance services and wealth management solutions. It provides business banking and privilege banking too.

Allied Bank

A major commercial bank in Pakistan, Allied Bank is based in Lahore but has an extensive branch and ATM network spreading across the country.

Personal customers can choose from a range of current, term deposit and savings accounts. This includes the Allied Bank Current Account, which is free provided you can maintain a minimum monthly balance. It comes with a debit card and access to online banking.⁶

Allied Bank also offers business banking, Islamic banking, corporate and investment banking and many other financial services.


Askari Bank

A commercial bank headquartered in the country’s capital Islamabad, Askari Bank provides personal, business and Islamic banking services.

If you’re looking for an everyday account, the Askari Sahar Current Account could be worth checking out. It can be opened digitally, has no minimum average balance requirement for account maintenance and comes with a debit card.⁷

For businesses, Askari Bank offers dedicated accounts and services for SMEs, commercial clients and the agriculture sector.

Meezan Bank

The country’s first and largest Islamic bank, Meezan Bank offers riba-free (interest-free) accounts and products for personal and business customers.

It offers a choice of currency accounts for everyday use, including a Rupee Account. This can be opened with a minimum deposit, and offers online banking and unlimited withdrawals. It’s designed for individuals, but can also be opened by freelancers.⁸

For businesses, Meezan Bank offers accounts, cash management services, investment banking and finance to SMEs, corporate clients and agricultural businesses.

Bank Alfalah

A major private bank headquartered in Karachi, Bank Alfalah has a large branch network in Pakistan and also operates overseas.

It has a large choice of personal accounts, including the Alfalah PKR Current Account. This versatile account is for both individuals and small businesses, offering online banking, a chequebook and unlimited online transactions. You’ll just need to maintain a minimum monthly balance requirement.⁹

The bank also provides loans, retail payment solutions and financial services for businesses.

Faysal Bank

Faysal Bank is an Islamic bank, headquartered in Karachi but with hundreds of branches and ATMs across the country.

It offers a choice of current, savings and foreign currency accounts for personal customers. This includes the Faysal Tez Tareen Asaan Remittance Account, which is denominated in PKR but with a feature for sending and receiving international remittances. It has no minimum balance requirement and can be managed via online/mobile banking.¹⁰

The bank also has business banking accounts and cash management solutions, along with wealth management products and Islamic banking services.

Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan

Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan is a subsidiary of the UK-owned international banking group Standard Chartered. It’s a commercial bank serving personal and business customers.

A popular account at the bank is the SC Digital Account, a fully digital solution for everyday banking. It’s easy to open, comes with a debit card and has no initial deposit or minimum balance requirement.¹¹

Standard Chartered also offers business bank accounts, along with priority and premium banking, wealth management solutions, insurance and Islamic banking.

Best online bank accounts and alternatives in Pakistan

There are also a small number of non-bank alternatives available in Pakistan, if you want a different way to manage your money. These include:

  • Sadapay - a finance app offering a debit card and digital wallet.
  • Nayapay - an electronic money institution offering a digital wallet and card.

Wise – Money for here, there and everywhere

If you want to send money internationally, or use your debit card when you travel, you could find it expensive with a Pakistani bank.

The good news is that there’s a money-saving alternative available from the money services provider Wise. Open a Wise account, and you can send money worldwide in 40+ currencies for low fees and fair exchange rates. It’s not a bank account but offers many similar features.

You can even get an international debit card for spending in over 150 countries, including Pakistan** and the UK. It automatically converts your money to the local currency at the mid-market exchange rate, adding only a low, transparent conversion fee, whenever you spend.

This makes it ideal for travellers, expats, overseas students and anyone else living an international life.

Sign up with Wise today 💰

And that’s our rundown of the top banks in Pakistan, including all of the biggest institutions in the country. This should act as a good starting point as you compare options to find the right bank for you.

**If your Wise card was issued in the US, you’re currently unable to use it in Pakistan.

Sources used for this article:

  1. XE - The best international banks in Pakistan (and what you'll need to open an account)
  2. NBP - Izafi Munafa Account
  3. HBL - HBL Conventional Current Account
  4. UBL - UBL Asaan Digital Account
  5. MCB Bank - MCB Asaan Accounts
  6. ABL - ABL Current Account
  7. Askari Bank - Askari Sahar Current Account
  8. Meezan Bank - Rupee Current Account
  9. Bank Alfalah - Alfalah PKR Current Account
  10. Faysal Bank - Faysal Tez Tareen Asaan Remittance Account
  11. Standard Chartered - SC Digital Account

Sources last checked on 25-Mar-2024.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location