KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been receiving complaints from various quarters regarding discrimination by banks on the basis of high-risk category of customers including their status as politically exposed persons (PEPs).

Special Unit in Consumer Protection Department (CPD) of SBP has been created for handling grievances against such discriminatory practices. This Unit will monitor and handle the complaints which remain unresolved by banks’ internal procedure, SBP statement said on Thursday.

SBP’s instructions issued in circular dated August 19, 2008 already prohibit discrimination on the basis of specific occupation, trade, region, gender and other factors while providing financial services in normal course of business.

SBP has, therefore, reiterated that banks/DFIs should not discriminate any customer merely on the ground that he/she belongs to a particular category of customers. State Bank has also advised all banks/DFIs to put in place an internal mechanism for speedy handling of such complaints and nominate senior officers with the responsibility of dealing with complaints and issues related to PEPs and for coordination with the State Bank in the matter.

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