SBP Allows Banks to Open Account for Afghan Refugees

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed commercial banks to open account of Afghan refugees having valid Proof of Registration (PoR) Card by the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA).

Accordingly, for opening accounts of Afghan refugees holding PoR Card, banks/DFIs may accept the valid Proof of Registration (PoR) Card issued by NADRA as an identity document. In this regard, banks/DFIs shall verify the identity of the Afghan refugees holding PoR Card through NADRA biometric verification system for the opening of an account.

The decision was taken by the central bank after NADRA informed that biometric verification for opening bank accounts of Afghan refugees holding Proof of Registration (PoR) Card had been made live w.e.f February 26, 2019 over the existing established linkage of CNIC verification.

The biometric verification service for Afghan refugees holding PoR Card would work similar to the CNIC biometric verification system.

Banks will have new customers in the coming days to provide various banking and financial services in Pakistan and overseas.

For services offered by banks to their account holders, where CNIC and biometric verification is required under AML/CFT Regulations, valid biometrically verified PoR Card is acceptable as an identity document.

However, banks/DFIs are advised to ensure compliance of all relevant legal and regulatory requirements including AML / CFT preventive measures instructed by SBP for account opening from time to time.

The federal government’s had decided to extend the Proof of Registration (PoR) cards to some 1.4 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan until 30 June 2019. The decision of the incumbent government was much praised by global agencies and human rights organizations.

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