United Bank Limited (UBL) recently reported that it has launched its first digital branch in Karachi at Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and claimed that the newly launched digital bank is “Pakistan’s first Digital Branch”.
It seems that while making such claim, UBL was oblivious to the fact that Standard Chartered had already launched its digital branch during the similar timeframe last year. As per Competitive Commission of Pakistan (CCP), it’s unlawful to make false claims to achieve first-mover advantage in the market.
Similarly, misleading marketing practices are considered as violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act 2010, which includes distribution of misleading information to the consumers.
As per the official press release, the financial institution claims that its digital branch is not only pilot but commercial too. Pilot projects are usually carried out on experimental basis and becomes commercial based on the successful response from its customers.
It further said, “This pilot branch is located at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA-City Campus), Karachi. True to its progressive and innovative brand attributes, UBL is the first commercial bank in Pakistan to provide its customers with state-of-the-art facilities enclosed within a cutting-edge modern design.”
This is not the first time that UBL has made a false claim. The country’s leading financial institution previously made false claims about launching Card-less ATMs being the first ever in the country. However, Bank Islami was the first financial institution that introduced the concept of Card-less ATMs by allowing its customers to use their thumb impressions. The trend was later followed by HBL, which installed Card-less ATMs connected with Nadra records.
UBL did not comment on anything regarding this issue as of yet. In any case, we’ll keep a track on the UBL’s upcoming trends to keep our reader updated.