Agha Hasan Abedi: Pakistani banker (1922 - 1995) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Agha Hasan Abedi
Pakistani banker

Agha Hasan Abedi

Agha Hasan Abedi
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Pakistani banker
Was Financial professional Financier Banker
From Pakistan India
Field Finance
Gender male
Birth 14 May 1922, Lucknow, India
Death 5 August 1995, Karachi, Pakistan (aged 73 years)
Star sign Taurus
The details (from wikipedia)


Agha Hasan Abedi (Urdu: آغا حسَن عابِدی ‎), (14 May 1922 – 5 August 1995) was a Pakistani banker. Abedi founded Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in 1972.

Abedi underwent a heart transplant operation in 1988, and died of a heart attack on 5 August 1995 in Karachi.

Early life and education

Agha Hasan Abedi was born in a well off Shia Muslim family in Lucknow, British India and migrated to Pakistan after the creation of Pakistan in 1947. He received his master's degree in English Literature and a Law degree from Lucknow University.

Banking career

Beginning his career in 1946 with Habib Bank before independence of Pakistan, he brought about significant changes in Pakistan's banking culture when he founded the United Bank Ltd (UBL) in 1959 in Karachi. He was the Founder and the first President. Under his stewardship, UBL became the second largest bank in Pakistan. Mr. Abedi introduced a host of professional innovations, including the concept of personalised service and banking support to trade and industry, paying particular attention to the bank's overseas operations. One of the first to comprehend the opportunities offered by the oil boom in the Persian Gulf, Mr Abedi pioneered close economic collaboration in the private sector between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE President, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, extended his patronage to UBL operations both in Pakistan and abroad.

BCCI years

When banking was nationalised in Pakistan in 1972, Mr. Abedi founded the Bank of Credit and Commerce International with the Bank of America NT & SA as a major shareholder. Registered in Luxembourg, the BCCI began its operations from a two-room head office in London. Over the years, it developed into a worldwide banking operation with branches in 72 countries and 16,000 employees on its payroll. Mr. Abedi was personally responsible for inducting a large number of Pakistanis into the field of international banking and almost 80 per cent of the BCCI's top executive positions at the head office and in branches in various countries were held by Pakistanis. "It was founded by the charismatic Agha Hasan Abedi in 1972, backed by Middle Eastern investors and run mostly by the South Asians." Mr. Abedi severed his connection with BCCI in 1990 after suffering a heart attack and led a retired life in Karachi until his death of heart failure at Karachi's Aga Khan hospital in 1995.

At the time of his death, Abedi was under criminal indictment in numerous countries for crimes related to BCCI. However, Pakistani officials refused to give him up for extradition, claiming the charges were politically motivated. Besides this, it is likely he would have been too sick to stand trial. He had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in the mid-1980s.

Infaq Foundation

Mr. Abedi founded charitable organisations in UK, India, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

The Infaq Foundation has only one office in Karachi, Pakistan. It has capital and reserves of over Rs. 2.50 billion, which in 2009 are equivalent to just over US $30 million. Major beneficiaries among the known institutions are, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Lady Dufferin Hospital and Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi, and Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Topi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. President Ghulam Ishaq Khan was the first Chairman of the Foundation from 1983 through 1995. Another personality, a supreme court judge and a former Governor of Sindh – Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim took over and is now the chairman.

The Foundation has been managed by various Chief Executives. From 1981 to 1999, retired federal secretaries were Secretaries General of the Foundation. From 1999 to 2008, the position was held by Mr. Sohail Kizilbash, a Chartered Accountant educated in the UK and a person with long banking experience. From 2009 onwards, another Chartered Accountant and a former banker Mr. Anwar Gillani is the Honorary Secretary General.

Higher education

Mr. Abedi also founded BCCI FAST in 1980 with a donation of Rs. 100 million, to promote education in computer science. It is now the first multi-campus university of Pakistan, known as National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences. It has five campuses situated in Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad.

Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology was also the brainchild of Mr. Abedi. He felt that Pakistan should have another university for higher education, at PhD level, for engineering and sciences and it should be comparable to universities in any developed country.

Personal life

Hasan Abedi was married to Rabia Abedi. The couple had a daughter named Maha. Although Abedi was born into a Shia Muslim family, he was a well-known Muslim mystic. During his speeches at the meetings of the BCCI Bank, he would spend hours sharing his mystical beliefs. He believed that BCCI wasn't only a bank, but a god-gifted entity which was directly connected to the universe.

Award and honor

  • Agha Hasan Abedi Auditorium at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, was named after him.
  • Agha Hasan Abedi was posthumously awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, a Pakistani Civilian Award, by the President of Pakistan in 2015 for his services to the nation. The award recognized that while he was "[k]nown internationally for questionable business practices, in Pakistan he is remembered for supporting leading health and educational institutions like FAST, GIKI and SIUT"...
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 14 May 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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