The Finance Division through the promulgation of National Savings Schemes (AML-CFT) Rules, 2019 has decided to engage an AML-CFT compliant bank, through competitive bidding, to put in place the requirement as well as the necessary training of employees of Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS).
Accordingly, Expression of Interest, has been sought from the interested bank to conduct KYC (Know Your Customer) and other requirements of new as well as existing clients of CDNS.
This will include the biometric verification and screening of potential clients in UN Proscribed Person List. All these screenings are meant to stop any ill-gotten money to become part of the financial system and safeguard the investors from the menace of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Around 33 percent of CDNS deposits are in Welfare Schemes which attribute around 2 percent incremental rate of profit over other regular savings schemes.
Currently, CDNS manages portfolio of Rs. 4,038 billion (November 2019) of more than 7 million investors. National Savings Schemes (“NSS”) provide a risk-free and competitive avenue to all segments of society especially the most vulnerable i.e. senior citizens, pensioners, widows, physically challenged persons and family members of Shuhada.
On the other hand, it provides a non-inflationary and cost-effective borrowing to GoP to bridge the overall fiscal deficit which ultimately reduces dependency on external borrowing. Nineteen percent of domestic debt consists of NSS while these deposits are equal to 28 percent of the total deposit of scheduled banks.
One of the main challenges to CDNS was its manual operations and lack of IT, therefore, CDNS started its journey of automation in 2009 and successfully completed PSDP funded Automation Project Phase I & II in 2013 and 2017. Through these projects, 223 National Savings Centre (“NSC”) i.e. (60 percent out of total 376) have been successfully automated. Automation of the remaining 153 is in process with the support of the Department for International Development (DFID), UK.
Meanwhile, CDNS has upgraded its core business solution from decentralized to centralized architecture. 144 branches have already been shifted to an upgraded solution where customer transaction time has significantly reduced. Also, the provision of Alternate Delivery Channels (ATM) is in the final stages which will further improve service delivery.
The introduction of technology has provided CDNS the opportunity to modernize its process which includes swift data reporting, reconciliation with other departments, budgeting & forecasting, customer database etc. Due to IT progress CDNS is now capable to implement a number of initiatives which was not possible due to manual operation.
In this context, Asia Pacific Group in its recently published Mutual Evaluation Report (MER 2019), has pointed out a number of deficiencies on the part of CDNS in terms of compliance to FATF recommendations, which has negatively affected the overall grading of different recommendations especially the recommendation 10, 11, 12 and 15.
In this context, CDNS is committed to mitigating the deficiency to improve customer service delivery and to comply with the FATF recommendation to safeguard the interest of the investors. Banks under the supervision of SBP have already put in place all the required systems and KYC processes to comply with the FATF recommendation