President asks banks to secure customers’ deposits, data

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President Dr. Arif Alvi on Tuesday emphasized the banks to ensure foolproof security of account holders’ deposits and their data amid increasing cybercrimes all over the world.

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

The president said all kinds of complaints by customers be taken seriously and resolved at the earliest to their satisfaction to escape litigation leading to wastage 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, Muslim Commercial Bank, Allied Bank Limited, Faisal Bank Limited, Habib Bank Limited, Soneri Bank Limited, Khyber Bank Limited, Dubai BankIslami, Meezan Islamic Bank, Bank of Punjab.

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

They informed the president 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 suggesting ” banks are responsible for customers’ money.

Small amount for us, may be bigger amount for the account holder.” 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 said the banks should try their best to resolve the complaints at their end, instead of increasing burden on 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 sense of full security to their customers, he added.

The president said the banks should fully cooperate with Cyber Crimes Cell of Federal Investigation Agency and other law enforcing agencies to more effectively fight this menace. SBP Governor Dr. Reza Baqir informed the president that during the first quarter of the current fiscal year ( July-Sept) 29% growth in mobile banking was witnessed against the corresponding period of last financial year, similarly, 31% 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 the data. On this occasion, Banking Ombudsman of Pakistan, Muhammad Kamran Shahzad presented Annual Performance Report-2021. President Dr. Arif Alvi also held hearing of representations filed by NBP against order of Banking Ombudsman and UBL.—APP

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