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President Arif Alvi says banks are responsible for customers’ money

30 Mar, 2022
He was presiding over a meeting with various heads of banks, including the State Bank of Pakistan, to review innovations and development of the banking sector especially digitisation, steps taken and systems introduced against cybercrimes. PID/File
He was presiding over a meeting with various heads of banks, including the State Bank of Pakistan, to review innovations and development of the banking sector especially digitisation, steps taken and systems introduced against cybercrimes. PID/File

KARACHI. President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday emphasised that the banks should ensure foolproof security of account holders’ deposits and their data amid increasing incidents of cybercrime all over the world.

He was presiding over a meeting with various heads of banks, including the State Bank of Pakistan, to review innovations and development of the banking sector especially digitisation, steps taken and systems introduced against cybercrimes.

The president said that all kinds of complaints filed by customers must be taken "seriously and resolved at the earliest to their satisfaction" to escape litigation, which according to him leads to a waste of time, energy and money.

Led by SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir, the bankers’ team included presidents of National Bank of Pakistan, United Bank Limited, MCB, Allied Bank Limited, Faisal Bank Limited, Habib Bank Limited, Soneri Bank Limited, Khyber Bank Limited, Bank Islami, Meezan Islamic Bank, and Bank of Punjab.

They updated the president on the policy and structural reforms in their banks with a focus on transparency, efficiency and fast growth in financial inclusion mainly for the population living in remote and under-developed areas, and the women of the country.

They informed that the banks had "streamlined" their system to quickly respond to the customers’ complaints and justice was provided to them.

In digital banking, the "quantum of the complaints was lesser" than those of traditional banking, they added.

The president urged the banks to immediately resolve their customers’ complaints irrespective of the amount involved, adding that "banks are responsible for customers’ money. A small amount for us may be the bigger amount for the account holder.”

The lingering and worrisome procedure of resolution of the complaints may be made easier by fast systems, education of customers on the pattern of the advanced countries, he added.

He said the banks should try their best to resolve the complaints on their end, "instead of increasing the burden" on the Banking Ombudsman of Pakistan’s office, Banking Courts and the President’s Secretariat as well.

The banks would have to ensure strong checks, internal system controls and vigilance on their transactions to give a sense of full security to their customers, he added. The president said the banks should fully cooperate with the Cyber Crimes Cell of the Federal Investigation Agency and other law enforcement agencies to more effectively fight this menace.

SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir said that during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (July-Sept) 29 per cent growth in mobile banking was witnessed against the corresponding period of last financial year. Similarly, 31 per cent growth was seen in internet banking in the same period. The president appreciated the banks' initiatives for financial inclusion and for the safety of their customers’ deposits and data.