State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issues a warning that it will not accept any discriminatory treatment of customers by commercial banks in the form of denying banking services to them on the basis of occupation, trade, region, sex, ethnicity etc.
The central bank has constituted a special unit in its Consumer Protection Department (CPD) to resolve issues of those people who complain that they are not provided service of loans and credit cards on the ground of discrimination.
It has been observed from various quarters that bankers do not entertain customers stating that they fall in the high-risk category and include their status as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).
Banks occasionally turn down requests for credit cards, car loans or other consumer facilities merely on the basis of specific profession, class and/or group of citizens e.g. lawyers, politicians, security officials and law enforcement agencies etc.
Banks will face severe penalties for denying services like credit cards and loans due to discrimination
The central bank has directed all commercial bank including microfinance banks and DFIs to set up an internal mechanism for speedy handling of consumers’ complaints and nominate senior officers with the responsibility of dealing issues with high influential banking users.
The central bank explained that the AML/CFT Regulations also allow usual banking relationships and business transactions with high risk customers, under proper checks and controls.
Therefore, it is reiterated that the banks/DFIs should not discriminate against any customer merely on the ground that the relationship with him/her requires extra care and caution as per banking practices and standards.
It is on the banks/DFIs to ensure strict compliance for the provision of financial services to all segments of the society in line with applicable regulations in true letter and spirit.
State Bank of Pakistan has set up a special unit in Customer Protection Department to deal with complaints of denial of service
SBP warned that strict action could be taken against banks which will violate its rules to continue discriminatory policy for providing banking services to customers.
Customer could lodge their complaints through online form whereas SBP’s officials could be approached via telephone numbers.