Karachi :  State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in a circular on Thursday instructed the Presidents/Chief Executive Officers, All Islamic Banks and All Conventional Banks having Islamic Banking Branches that in order to harmonize the Shariah practices of Islamic banking institutions (IBIs) regarding provision of free-of-cost priority banking services to their clients, the following instructions are issued which will be applicable with immediate effect:-

i. Priority banking services can be provided to both current and saving account holders; however, offering the same to current account holders only is not permissible.
ii. Promotional material/activities of IBIs shall explicitly mention that such free-of-cost priority banking services are offered at banks sole discretion and to both current and saving account holders.
iii. IBIs may prescribe the condition of maintaining a certain level of minimum balance to avail priority banking services.

The IBIs are advised to ensure compliance with the instructions in letter and spirit. Failure to comply with the same may invoke penal action under the provisions of Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962.