KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been receiving complaints from various quarters regarding discrimination by banks on the basis of high-risk category of customers including their status as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).
SBP’s instructions issued vide BPRD Circular Letter No. 21 dated August 19, 2008 already prohibit discrimination on the basis of specific occupation, trade, region, gender and other factors while providing financial services in normal course of business. SBP has therefore, reiterated that banks and DFIs should not discriminate any customer merely on the ground that he/she belongs to a particular category of customers.
In this respect, SBP has also advised all banks and DFIs to put in place an internal mechanism for speedy handling of such complaints and nominate senior officers with the responsibility of dealing with complaints and issues related to PEPs and for coordination with the State Bank in the matter.
Further, a Special Unit in Consumer Protection Department (CPD) of SBP has been created for handling grievances against such discriminatory practices. This Unit will monitor and handle the complaints which remain unresolved by banks’ internal procedure.