Overseas Pakistani’s to have bank accounts in Pakistan: SBP

50 percent of total foreign remittances are received from Pakistani’s residing in UAE and Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: To curb hundi and hawala systems of money transfer, State Bank of Pakistan is set to make it mandatory for overseas Pakistani’s to have a bank account in the country for remitting money legally.

This was stated in a Pakistan Remittance Summit 2017 held in Dubai on December 8th by SBP’s Executive Director Syed Irfan Ali.  The summit was organized by SBP in partnership with Finance Ministry, National Bank of Pakistan, MCB Bank Limited, United Bank Limited and National Bank of Pakistan, reported a English daily.

Mr. Ali said Pakistan can receive over $30 billion via foreign remittances if bottlenecks and challenges being faced by bank and money transfer exchanges get removed.

He added remittances constituted 6 percent share of Pakistan’s GDP, but conveyed optimism that its rise could bolster the country’s economy. Executive Director SBP admitted Hundi and de-risking were significant impediments in increasing remittances.

Furthermore, Irfan said Pakistani’s going overseas for studies and jobs would be required to have bank accounts in the country for account holders receiving remittances. This would allow overseas Pakistani’s to send foreign exchange through the banking sector.

The summit participants were informed by SEVP & Group Chief, Payment Services & Digital Banking Group of National Bank of Pakistan, Mudassir H. Khan that 50 percent of total foreign remittances were received from Pakistani’s residing in UAE and Saudi Arabia.

He added Pakistan witnessed remittances rise of more than 12 percent in the past decade or so, which was the highest globally.

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  1. I tried to open a bank account in Pakistan. I went to Standard Chartered Bank Mall Road Peshawar. First of all, nobody knows how an overseas Pakistani can open a bank account in Pakistan. After waiting for half an hour, a guy took me to his office and asked me for the following documents.

    1. Fard number of property in Pakistan. The more property mentioned in the fard the better
    2. Work contract in foreign country
    3. Three months salary slips in foreign country
    3. Affidavit on a stamp paper of the total earning
    4. A check on my name of Rs.5000 from a person, who has an account in this branch. Cash is not acceptable.
    5. Copy of my ID card Foreign as well as COP.
    6. Copy of passport.
    7. Minumum Balance of Rs.200,000

    Facilities offered.

    1. I can transfer as much much money as i want to the account, but I can not transfer any money from my account, even to my foreign account.
    2. Zakat/tax is deductable.
    3. Will not be able to avail most of the bank facilities.

    I completed all the documents and went back to open the account. And then there was another guy. Who checked my documents and asked to attest all these documents, foreign documents from a foreign country and pakistani documents from Pakistan.

    I went to Bank Al Habib in FC Plaza Peshawar. And they were as much ignorant as SC staff. They telephonically asked the head office and give me a longer list then SC.

    I went to United Bank Dabgari Garden Peshawar, and the manager simply said, an overseas Pakistani can not open a bank account in UBL.

    State Bank must instruct all the banks to educate there employs on how an overseas Pakistani account can be opened. Secondly, the procedure must be simplified. Cos banks are taking money and not giving money.

    I personally dropped the idea to open a bank account in Pakistan. This is a stupid idea.

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