SBP, FIA join hands to curb money laundering, digital fraud

Observer Report

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir on Saturday emphasised the need for closer cooperation amongst banks, the central bank and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) so that “white-collar crimes are expeditiously investigated and fraudsters are apprehended and prosecuted.”

According to a statement issued by the central bank, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Baqir to strengthen coordination against money laundering, digital fraud and cyber attacks.

Officials present during the meeting were informed that the SBP has taken several measures in the recent past to strengthen its work on Anti-money Laundering (AML) as well as taken regulatory and supervisory

measures to improve bank controls to prevent digital and social engineering frauds.
During the meeting, it was decided that in addition to having better control at the level of financial institutions and enhanced customer awareness, effective investigation and prosecution of criminals is needed to substantially reduce the incidence of money laundering, digital fraud and cyber attacks.

“The FIA team offered support in strengthening cyber security at banks and suggested banks carry out Information Security (IS) audit of their systems,” the statement read.

Welcoming the suggestion, the SBP noted that as per existing regulations, banks are required to regularly carry out an information systems audit and penetration testing: however, the same would be reemphasised to the industry through PBA.

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