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General FAQs

For the Improved and Convenient Customer Support we have listed down the most Frequently Asked Questions.
Please click on the question title to view the answer of your desired question.

1. Are SMEDA and SME Bank the same?

SME Bank is a formal lending institution for the small & medium entrepreneurs. SMEDA (Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority) is a business support services provider. Both institutions are different and managed independent of each other; however they complement each other’s activities.

2. How are SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) defined?

Definition of a Small Enterprise:
A Small Enterprise (SE) is a business entity which meets the following parameters:

Number of Employees Annual Sales Turnover
* Up to 50 * Up to Rs. 150 million
* including contract employees

Further, an entity has to fulfill both the criteria of number of employees and sales turnover for categorization as small enterprise. However, in cases where an entity fulfils one parameter of SE and its second parameter falls within the range prescribed for medium enterprise (ME) or above the upper limit prescribed for ME, then the subject entity shall be classified as ME or commercial/corporate entity as the case may be.

Definition of a Medium Enterprise:
Medium Enterprise (ME) is a business entity, ideally not a public limited company which meets the following parameters:

* Number of Employees Annual Sales Turn-Over
51-250 (Manufacturing & Service MEs)
51-100 (Trading MEs)
Above Rs 150 million and up to Rs 800 million (All types of Medium Enterprises)
* including contract employees

Further, an entity has to fulfill both the criteria of number of employees and sales turnover for categorization as medium enterprise. However, when an entity’s one parameter is as per ME criteria and its second parameter is as per SE criteria, than subject entity would be categorized as ME. Similarly, when an entity’s one parameter is as per ME and its second parameter is above the upper limit prescribed for ME, then the subject entity shall be categorized as commercial/corporate entity.

3. Why should an entrepreneur seek SME Bank’s services?

SME Bank was established to address the financing requirements of SMEs. It is Pakistan’s specialized SME lending institution with its network in SME concentrated areas Sialkot, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi and Islamabad Providing financial assistance to Small and Medium Entrepreneurs is its core activity.

4. When and why was SME Bank formed?

SME Bank was established on 01st January 2002 in answer to the by standing demand of the country’s small and medium entrepreneurs.

5. What financial services can I avail from SME Bank?
  1. Project Financing
  2. Leasing
  3. Working Capital
6. How much amount can I seek from the Bank?

SME Bank can provide financial assistance from Rs.50,000.- up to an amount of Rs.100 Million. It is mandatory for the borrower to meet the debt:equity ratio of at least 60:40

7. What does debt:equity ratio of 60:40 represent?

At least 40% of the project’s/enterprise’s financing should come from the borrower in the form of equity. Up to 60 % would be financed by SME Bank.

8. Does SME Bank charge mark-up?

Yes. What a client pays to the Bank, in addition to the loan amount, is called the ‘mark-up’ This is necessary to sustain the Bank’s activities.

9. What is the mark-up rate?

It is market based and depends upon the project’s expected cash flows. It varies from business to business. Latest rates can be seen by clicking Lending Rates.

10. What kind of security Bank needs from the applicant?

Security may vary from project to project. In most cases, it is mortgage of urban property along with personal guarantees.

11. How are the installments calculated?

Based upon the mark-up rate and the cash flow of the proposed venture. The client/borrower is provided a complete repayment schedule at the time of disbursement of sanctioned amount.

12. What is the repayment period? Is there any grace?

The repayment period usually varies from three to five years; however it would be linked to the cash flows of the project/enterprise. Normally the payments are in the form of monthly installments. Grace period depends on the nature of enterprise.

13. What is the loan application process?

1. Fill up SME Bank’s loan application form
2. Attach the required documents
3. Submit the above to our designated branches

14. How can I obtain the application form?

These are available both in Urdu & English at our designated branches. Click Our Network to find the addresses of a branch near you.

15. What documents must be attached with the application form?

1. Complete business plan of the project/enterprise
3. Attested Copy of Computerized National ID Card
5. Bank Statement
7. Attested copies of property documents
9. Additional documents may also be required by SME Bank, depending upon the project/enterprise.

16. What if I need help in filling up the application form?

Our Credit Officers would gladly assist you in the process.

17. How long does it take to process a loan application?

After the applicant has provided the requested information along with attested documents, the process takes around 30 days. Any delays are usually because of inadequate information provided by the borrower.

18. What kind of projects SME Bank finances?

All projects/enterprises that are commercially viable and meet the Bank’s lending criteria. We would like to ensure that financing is used for productive activities. Click Sectors Financed for different sectors financed by SME Bank.

19. How to access Bank’s Facilities?

You may call or write an e-mail to a branch near you. Walk-ins are also welcome. Please visit the link Our Network to find the addresses of our offices.

SME Asaan Account’s FAQs

1. Can Non-residents and foreign nationals open Asaan account?

No, Asaan Account is for resident individuals only, others can open regular account.

2. Are outward remittances allowed in Asaan Account?


3. Are there any restrictions on debit and credit transactions, If so, what restrictions are applicable?

The limit for maximum total monthly debit and maximum credit balance limit in this account will be Rs. 500,000/- or as revised by SBP. These limits will be strictly followed but will be subject to exceptions as defined by SBP. At present, these exceptions are as follows:

1. Credit transactions beyond credit balance limit of Rs. 500,000 will be allowed in case of inward remittances provided they qualify for the risk assessment criteria of the bank.
2. Credit of any profit/ return on deposit in the Asaan Account beyond total credit balance limit of Rs. 500,000 will be permitted.
3. Bank charges, government taxes or levies and instructions issued under any law or from the court will be permitted and will not be subject to debit or withdrawal restriction beyond total debit per month limit of Rs. 500,000.

4. If a TDR is issued against an Asaan Account, will this TDR amount be considered when calculating the total credit balance in the said Asaan Account?

Yes, If Term Deposit Receipt (TDR) is to be issued from Asaan Account, the amount lying in TDR will be clubbed with the balance available in Asaan Account for calculating total Credit balance.

5. Is the same procedure and documents required for opening of Asaan account(s) in case of regular account?

NO, The procedure for opening of Asaan Account is easier and only copy of CNIC and minimum deposit of Rs. 100 is required along with account opening form to open an account. In addition, there is no requirement for letter of thanks and proof of income.

6. If a person has regular account with SME Bank, will he/ she be open Asaan Account?
No, Regular account holders will not be permitted to open an Asaan account as this product is designed for the unbanked segment of the society.


7. Can bank demand more than Rs 100 for opening Asaan Account?

No, Asaan Account will be opened with minimum balance of Rs. 100. It depends on the person if he/she wants to deposit more than 100 in his/her account.

8. If a person has opened an Asaan Account with SME Bank, will he/ she be able to open a regular account?

No, Asaan account holders will not be able to open a regular account and shall be able to do so only after closing their Asaan account.

9. Can Asaan accounts be opened jointly?


10. Will the account be activated for debit transactions immediately after it is opened?

No, Account will be opened instantly however activation will be restricted for Debit transactions until NADRA Verification is completed.

11. Are there any free services available for Asaan account?

Yes, one time ATM card will be issued free of cost however renewal charges after every year will be charged as per schedule of charges of the bank.

12. Will minors be able to open Asaan account?

Yes, In case of Minors the account will be opened against Form B and other appropriate documents along with documents of guardian and Bank will act on the instructions of the guardian unless contrary instructions have been received from the guardian or an appropriate authority.

13. Are the conditions for account being marked as dormant or inoperative same as in case of regular accounts?

Yes, these conditions will be the same for SME Asaan Savings and SME Asaan Current Account as in case of regular accounts.

14. In case of negative NADRA verification, how will the initial deposit amount be refunded to the customer?

The customer will have to visit the branch to claim his/her initial deposit in such instance.

15. Since Asaan Account can be opened by a range of identity documents such as Passport, Pension Book etc., can a customer open more than one account by furnishing different identity documents in different instances?

No, the unique identifier will still be CNIC number and the customer will not be able to open more than one Asaan account.

16. If a customer lodges a cheque in clearing resulting in breach of their monthly debit limit of Rs 500,000/-, will this cheque be dishonored?

Yes, the cheque will be dishonored as per product policy.

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