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HBL Reveals the Reasons Behind Its New York Fine to Senate

In a meeting this Wednesday, the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs gave a three month time period for holding consultations, finalization of TORs and for preparing final report on the separation of Account/Audit cadres, in line with the summary approved by the Prime Minister.

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The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwala at the Parliament House and was attended by senators Nasreen Jalil, MohsinLeghari, Mohsin Aziz, Saud Majeed, Kamil Ali Agha, Osman Saifullah, Auditor General of Pakistan, President National Bank of Pakistan and officials from HBL, NBP, SBP, NAB, finance and establishment divisions.

Auditor General of Pakistan, Additional Secretary Finance Division and Additional Secretary Establishment Division said that the separation of cadres was not the actual intention of the initial summary nor was the direction in the summary from the Prime Minister’s Office.

They said that it is a lengthy exercise which can have legal and administrative implications. This is because most of the officers of the service group are not in favour of this separation. It was stated that the functional separation has already occurred but the service should remain intact.

Habib Bank Closing in New York

The Committee also took up the matter of Habib Bank Branch closure in New York. The Committee was told by State Bank of Pakistan that the branch was opened in New York in 1978.

Things were going smooth until 2006, but then the New York Regulator entered into a written agreement with the HBL branch due to faults in AML compliance, suspicious activity reporting, transaction reporting and training of staff.

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The bank struggled between satisfactory and average ratings until 2015, when it was given below average ‘marginal’ rating.

In addition, taking Al-Raji bank as a business client also worsened the condition as it was a high risk client.

Acting President HBL, Rizwan Haider, told the meeting that the main reason for closing the branch was due to the bank’s business with the Saudi Bank, apart from system and management issues.

It was also told that the allegations made by the regulator in terms of prohibited transactions were later proven wrong and revoked. However, it was found that the compliance system of the branch has been weak.

NBP Branch Fraud in Bangladesh

Regarding the fraud of NBP’s branch in Bangladesh, the committee was told that seven people found responsible in the investigation have been arrested. One of them is an absconder while the remaining six are Bangladeshi.

The Committee members asked whether the intention is just to arrest those responsible or are they trying to achieve something else from the investigation. They asked NAB to provide thorough details about when the fraud was done, who detected it, when was it reported, what action was taken by the board and on whom the responsibility was placed.

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Non-Performing Loans

The Committee also said that the percentage of non-performing loans against the total amount of loans has decreased over the last few years.

The Committee was told that most of the non-performing loans are in the agricultural sector. SBP was asked to provided performance report of ZTBL in the next meeting.

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      • ساقی تجھے اک تھوڑی سی تکلیف تو ہوگی
        ساگر کو ذرا تھام میں کچھ سوچ رہا ہوں

        • یہ دل، یہ جان، یہ خواب و خیال کس کا ہے
          لُٹا لُٹایا ہوا سب یہ مال کس کا ہے

      • آج جاگی ہوئی یادوں کو سلادے ساقی
        مے نہیں ہے تو مجھے زہر پلادے ساقی
        تشنگی بجھ نہ سکے گی میرے پیمانے سے
        میرے ہونٹوں کو صراحی سے لگادے ساقی
        تارائے احساس کو چیر ذرا ہولے سے
        آج ایک بھولا ہوا گیت سنا دے ساقی۔

        • ساقی کی ہر نگاہ پہ بل کھا کے پی گیا
          لہروں سے پیتا ہوا لہرا کے پی گیا
          مراد آبادی

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