SBP vows to ad­dress is­sues of bank­ing con­sumers

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - Muham­mad Yasir

State Bank of Pak­istan (SBP) has ad­mit­ted that con­sumers' is­sues are in­creas­ing in the bank­ing sec­tor de­spite in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion mar­ket, ad­vance­ment in tech­nol­ogy and grow­ing busi­nesses of the banks as it re­ceived surg­ing com­plaints from the peo­ple.

In its Strate­gic Plan SBP Vi­sion 2020, the bank­ing sys­tem needs im­prove­ment in the gen­eral ar­eas of ef­fi­ciency, ef­fec­tive­ness and fair­ness.

One of the key roles for SBP is to foster the sta­bil­ity and sound­ness of the bank­ing sys­tem while, at the same time, safe­guard­ing the in­ter­ests of de­pos­i­tors and stake­hold­ers as the ob­jec­tives of fi­nan­cial sys­tem sta­bil­ity are much wider than a safe and sound bank­ing sys­tem.

Be­cause the fi­nan­cial sys­tem sta­bil­ity is im­por­tant for three key rea­sons: it cre­ates trust and con­fi­dence by savers and in­vestors in the fi­nan­cial sys­tem and its in­sti­tu­tions; it pro­vides a sta­ble base for the trans­mis­sion of mon­e­tary pol­icy and there­fore, price sta­bil­ity; and, it en­cour­ages ef­fi­cient al­lo­ca­tion of cap­i­tal and trade which, in turn, un­der­pin eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity and growth

SBP vowed to im­prove the fair­ness and ef­fi­ciency of the bank­ing sec­tor through broad­en­ing ac­cess to prod­ucts and ser­vices that meet con­sumer and small busi­ness needs. The cen­tral bank will es­tab­lish min­i­mum ser­vice stan­dards for re­spond­ing to in­dus- try ap­pli­ca­tions.

It said the cen­tral bank has sought out prin­ci­ples aimed at im­prov­ing the qual­ity and ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of in­for­ma­tion re­ceived by bank­ing cus­tomers.

It sought to elim­i­nate un­fair and de­cep­tive prac­tices and em­power cus­tomers through res­o­lu­tion of dis­putes.

The cen­tral bank de­cided to step back from di­rect in­volve­ment in dis­putes along with col­lab­o­ra­tion with Bank­ing Mo­hta­sib Pak­istan to play its proper role in dis­pute res­o­lu­tion.

It has de­cided to strengthen the Fair Treat­ment of Con­sumer (FTC) regime by im­ple­ment­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate Bank­ing Code of Con­duct, an ef­fec­tive dis­pute res­o­lu­tion regime through the BMP, and es­tab­lish­ing a mon­i­tor­ing frame­work.

The cen­tral bank plans for stream­lin­ing the reg­u­la­tory and su­per­vi­sory frame­works and im­prov­ing the way SBP in­ter­acts with in­dus­try, in­clud­ing es­tab­lish­ment of the Fi­nan­cial Law Re­form Com­mit­tee.

It has de­cided to es­tab­lish a join work­ing group with Se­cu­rity and Ex­change Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan to en­sure con­sis­tency in ap­pli­ca­tion of con­duct stan­dards across the fi­nan­cial sec­tor.

The fair­ness of the bank­ing sys­tem could be done through im­prov­ing the ef­fi­ciency of fi­nan­cial in­ter­me­di­a­tion by stream­lin­ing and re­duc­ing as ap­pro­pri­ate, the reg­u­la­tory bur­den, it said. A more com­pet­i­tive and di­verse bank­ing sys­tem will im­prove the ef­fi­ciency and qual­ity of fi­nan­cial ser­vices and en­cour­age in­no­va­tion.

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