Banks Ordered to Keep Foreign Currencies in Stock For Patients Going Abroad

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) directed all banks to maintain adequate stock of major currencies in designated branches in order to facilitate customers traveling abroad for the purpose of medical treatment or getting education.

It is pertinent to mention here that banks may remit foreign exchange up to US$ 50,000/- or equivalent in other foreign currencies on account of the medical treatment of resident Pakistanis only after satisfying themselves about bona fides of the transaction. Remittances should be sent directly to the account of concerned reputable foreign Hospital via SWIFT, telegraphic transfer or demand draft after obtaining the required documents.

Banks may also remit foreign exchange to educational institutions abroad on behalf of students desirous of studying in accredited and recognized foreign institutions/ universities up to US$ 70,000/- or equivalent in other foreign currencies per student per calendar year on account of application/processing charges, tuition fee, living expenses etc. in accordance with the procedure explained in detail.

SBP said that banks should display information regarding the provision of foreign services for medical treatment/ studies abroad at a prominent place at each authorized branch.

Brochures containing information regarding services related to medical treatment/studies abroad may be made available at all branches. However, such information must be placed at official websites of the banks along with the list of branches providing such services. Further, such list should also be available at all branches of the banks for the guidance of customers.

The officials dealing with such services should be trained/ made acquainted with the existing foreign exchange rules and regulations governing individual foreign exchange needs.

SBP advised banks to ensure the required measures under these instructions immediately. Failure to comply with the above instructions shall attract regulatory action against the concerned banks under relevant provisions of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947.