Bank Alfalah has been grilled on social media for what people called were the ‘sexist policies’ from one of Pakistan’s largest banks.
As per details, Sabina Ahmed – a resident of Islamabad – was appalled and let down when she was denied cancellation of a Pay Order due to lack of ‘male witnesses.’
Ms Ahmed expressed her anger in a tweet where she explained the whole story.
Went to Bank Alfalah for cancelling a Pay Order. Was told to produce two witnesses for cancellation. Asked my mother to sign for a witness only to be told that only male admissible as witnesses… beyond appalled.
— Sabina Ahmad (@sabina_ahmad) January 8, 2019
Her tweet went viral and people seemed to be concerned over the bank’s ‘irresponsible’ and ‘illegal demands.’ One of the Twitter users suggested that the operational and branch managers of the bank should be served show cause notices for this behavior.
He also explained that there were no such prudential regulations from State Bank.
Branch Manager & Operations Manager need to be served show cause notice for making an illegal demand which is not mandated by State Bank of Pakistan
There is absolutely no requirement in law or Prudential Regulation of SBP which requires 2 witnesses for cancellation of pay order
— HaiderZamanQureshi (@HaiderZQureshi) January 8, 2019
Another Twitterati, who faced a similar situation, shared her experience:
Went to get a stamp paper for an official declaration and asked for the process. He explained the process and told me to bring two witnesses and to ensure that they are both males!
— Nuzhat Lotia (@nuz05) January 8, 2019
Some people raised a valid point that what if a female doesn’t have a male family member?
Whattt !? Seriously!? 😳 what about women who have no male family members??? @BankAlfalah
— Rubia Abrar ربیعہ (@rubiaabrar) January 8, 2019
WHAT DID I JUST READ ? Only male admissible ?
— Zoha Malik Sher (@zohamaliksher) January 8, 2019
Another user nailed it by inquiring if the former State Bank Governor Shamshad Akhtar faced a similar situation?
Wonder if they asked the governor State Bank Shamshad akhtar to carry two make witnesses in tow when signing contracts…. Morons!
— afia salam (@afiasalam) January 8, 2019
Asking for witnesses is compromising the privacy of personal information. Why should privacy be invaded for a financial matter that the banks are meant to handle in confidentiality. I am having hard time with MCB. I am asking them to show me in writing each policy that they cite.
— ᴇʀɢᴏᴘʜɪʟᴇ (@RstyClinomaniac) January 9, 2019
There is no need for any witnesses in matters of cash mutual immediate transactions such as in this case
— The Human Voice (@YaAbalFazl) January 8, 2019
While there were some people who felt that the bank was just following an Islamic law.
That's the law of the land!! From 1400 years women's witness is counted as Half
— Haider Rezvi (@haider_rezvi84) January 8, 2019
Bank are not being run by Islamic Law; banks deal in interest, which is contrary to Islamic principles.
— Muhammad Badar Iqbal (@MuhammadBadarI2) January 8, 2019
According to Sabeen, she has lodged a formal complaint but she has been told to wait for five working days before someone from the customer care addresses the issue.