Politicians and Govt Officials Undergo More Scrutiny When Opening Bank Accounts

People holding senior positions, including politicians and government officials, go through more scrutiny for opening bank accounts to fulfill the condition put forth by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

This was revealed by a senior official of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication which met under the chairmanship of Rubina Khalid.

The committee took the matter of not allowing Senator Farkhatullah Babar to open an easypaisa account and wrote a letter to the committee.

“Why bank accounts of politicians are not opened? This restriction on politicians is beyond comprehension,” said Rubina Khalid.

Director Banking Policy SBP said that Pakistan is on the grey list and biometric verification is mandatory for opening a bank account. Due to corona pandemic, biometric verification for opening bank accounts was suspended. People in senior positions have to go through more verification for bank accounts. This is a FATF condition and not from SBP, he added. This condition does not apply only to politicians.

Director of SBP said that it also includes government employees and international names.

He further said that there is no restriction on opening an account. Further, it was checked with Telenor, he said that no such ban has been imposed. The committee sought a detailed briefing on the issue in the next meeting.

Briefing the committee on digiskills CEO Ignite, said that Pakistan ranks third among freelancers in IT. Minorities and special people, eunuchs have been trained in freelancing on how to take business from the global market.

Federal Secretary IT said that a government package is also needed for the IT sector. Rukhsana Zubair said that more attention is only paid to the textile sector. Senator Faisal Javed said that the SBP is bringing an excellent program for overseas Pakistanis. The program will be launched in the next seven to eight days.

The meeting was attended among others by Engineer Rukhsana Zubair, Sana Jamali, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Faisal Javed, senior officials including Federal Secretary IT Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui and Chairman PTA.

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