The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has made it mandatory for all banks operating in the country to add at least one Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to their network while opening a new branch from next year.
“This directive has been issued with a view to improving the coverage of ATMs and to meet minimum international standards,” said the SBP in a circular issued to all banks on Thursday.
SBP stressed that banks having less than one ATM per branch would cover the gap in five years starting 2013 at the rate of 20% each year. For this purpose, all banks will submit a five-year plan to the central bank by November 30. Progress in this regard will be reported to the SBP on a quarterly basis.
SBP warned that banks who failed to comply would be ineligible for future branch expansion and possibly face penal action.
via Express Tribune
Naeem Akhtar (Guest Post)
I request you to please look into the UBL ‘funds transfer rates’.
When I started my account, initially they were charging PKR 50 for transferring funds from ATM to other bank accounts. Now that they revised their charges, we are bring charged PKR 290 for the same transaction where PKR 250 are transaction charges and PKR 40 in name of duty charges.
The worst thing about these charges that United Bank did this without any notification (I’m attaching my bank statement for your reference). And I’m so sick of this habit that I’m going to close my account in a week.
Being a local Pakistani bank – these charges are way too high. UBL is beating down all international banks when it comes to their unjustified charges.
For instance, Standard Chartered is charging PKR 58 for funds transfer through ATM to other banks and transfer to another Standard Chartered account within city is absolutely free.
UBL’s charges are not only high for ATM funds’ transfers but also for net-banking services. They are charging PKR 290 for funds transfer even if you do it online through net-banking. Similarly, if you make payment from their Branch (online) then the charges are same Rs 290. Bottom line is that there is no benefit as such for the account holders.
Being a local bank – there charges should be lower with respect to others but they are on other side of road here. I want you to publish this report so other account holders can avoid these charges.
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Habib Bank Limited has soft launched its branchless banking solution in Pakistan as a pilot before going for a full scale commercial launch, that is planned for October 2012, sources familiar with the development told EconomyAge on condition of anonymity.
HBL branchless banking will be second bank lead branchless banking solution, Omni being the first, that aims to trigger the next big segment in a Pakistani market to give tough competition to services like Easypaisa.
HBL’s branchless banking solution is powered by Sybase 365, a SAP company, and is managed by Abacus consulting which claims to have deployed this large scale solution in record time.
Though we aren’t sure about the complete product line and service charges of HBL branchless banking but from what we have heard so far it appears that HBL is going to offer all kind of services that EasyPaisa is offering to its consumers and corporate customers with least 25 percent lesser charges.
Bill payment, funds transfer, government to persons transaction, tax collection, loan payments, insurance and many other services are what HBL will kick start with, with reports of more value added services coming in future.
We were further told by our reliable sources that HBL will adopt an innovative new way for carrying financial transactions, which would not be telco dependent.
Thanks to its large banking network, HBL is said to start its branchless banking operations with over 200 regional hubs which will control end-point retailors in their respective regions.
Experts opine that branchless banking industry is going to get more competitive in coming time, eventually curbing EasyPaisa’s monopoly in the business, which will benefit the end user who will get better services at optimum prices.
Expect more details on HBL’s branchless banking in coming days.
At a time when YouTube has denied to remove the blasphemous video from its website that has sparked protests in at least 20 Muslim countries, Muslim Hackers have announced to target Bank of America and New York Exchange.
CNN has reported that customers were struggling in accessing Bank of America website and its online banking, which remained sluggish for some time before going offline earlier today.
BoA is now back online and it has said that efforts are being made to ensure full availability of the services to its customers.
Though it was not verified by an independent source as of now, but a note published on Paste Bin claims that the attack on Bank of America was triggered by Muslim Hackers in response to YouTube’s decision of not removing the blasphemous video clip.
Note said that New York Exchange will be targeted as well. Hackers have called all Muslim Hackers to unify their efforts to push YouTube for removal of video.
Following is the complete excerpt from Paste Bin:
In the name of Allah the companionate the merciful
My soul is devoted to you Dear Prophet of Allah
Dear Muslim youths, Muslims Nations and are noblemen
When Arab nations rose against their corrupt regimes (those who support Zionist regime) at the other hand when, Crucify infidels are terrified and they are no more supporting human rights. United States of America with the help of Zionist Regime made a Sacrilegious movie insulting all the religions not only Islam.
All the Muslims worldwide must unify and Stand against the action, Muslims must do whatever is necessary to stop spreading this movie. We will attack them for this insult with all we have.
All the Muslim youths who are active in the Cyber world will attack to American and Zionist Web bases as much as needed such that they say that they are sorry about that insult.
We, Cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam will attack the Bank of America and New York Stock Exchange for the first step. These Targets are properties of American-Zionist Capitalists. This attack will be started today at 2 pm. GMT. This attack will continue till the Erasing of that nasty movie. Beware this attack can vary in type.
Down with modern infidels.
Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest.
The Bank of India contemplates opening its branch in Pakistan before 31 March 2013, General Manager and Chief Executive Bank of India Singapore, Munir Alam said here on Saturday during a meeting at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
He said that the purpose of the visit was to discuss the opening of the bank branch with government officials, State Bank of Pakistan and the private sector to decide where to open it.
Munir Alam stated that he has discussed the issue with the federal ministers in Islamabad and Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan and President Habib Bank in Karachi.
Initially the bank would open one branch in Pakistan and most likely in Karachi. And initiate trade financing. It was also under consideration to have a joint venture in banking with Pakistan’s counterpart, he added.
In response to a question from a journalist, he said that the opening of the bank branch depended on the completion of paper work and it would hopefully be completed in the next few months.
At first the bank will start its operation with trade financing and on successful operation start retail banking at some later stage and open more branches.
The bank branch will have 75 percent local employees adding that Bank of India is the 5th largest bank of India, has 4038 branches in the country and 51 braches around the world. It is a pubic sector bank. Pubic sector banks have 70 percent market share of the banks in India.
He also mentioned that Bank of India initially made a plan six years ago in 2006 to open its branches in Pakistan but the idea was afterwards dropped.
UBL funds has introduced a unique financial package of ‘short term, medium term and long term’ investment solutions where you can even start from a small investment of Rs. 500.
Best for Teenagers
This offer to start with an investment of Rs. 500 can help teenagers and students to start building their portfolios. Since many people of this age has no experience in stock trading therefore its the best gateway for them to put their money in hands of experienced fund managers.
Parents can help and encourage their children to start with these packages and consider this investment as your saving. Developing a habit of savings in crucial in this age.
Treat your money as your servant and make it work for you.
Small and Medium Size Companies
Pakistan is becoming a nation of Entrepreneurs. Despite security and economic turmoil – our talented youth is making its way into business world.
Many small and medium size businesses waste their surplus cash by putting them in banks accounts. Since the nature of small and medium size businesses requires them to keep a positive cash in hand – they are usually reluctant to invest just in case they need some liquid urgently.
For them – this weekly plan of UBL funds is the best way to make the most of their investments.
By Syed Waseem Fawad (CFE, CICA)
Syed Waseem Fawad is a certified Fraud Examiner and also the President of Association of Certified Fraud Examiner – Pakistan Chapter.
The main reason of raising trend of Bank Robberies is non competence of Banks officials in the area of Surveillance and Security. The Outsourcing of Banks Security to Security Guard Companies is also the big Question Mark.
Why Pakistan Bank Association is in Charge?
Most of the Security Guard Companies are owned by Ex-Military officials. Here, I want to clarify that Protection of Civil Society is entire different from the Protection of Civils from another aggressive Army. Operators of Security Guard Companies are not aware with the changing Criminal Behavior in Civil Society. It is the responsibility of the State Bank of Pakistan to evaluate the competence of Security Guard Companies with the help of Ministry of Interior.
At present evaluation of Competence of Security Guard Company is performing by a private organization (i.e. Pakistan Bank Association) without any coordination with Ministry of Interior. It is the same situation in the past when OIL Product Price fixed by The Oil Marketing Companies Association instead of OGRA.
Now, Pakistan Bank Association is enjoying the illegal regulatory power in the area of Listing and Approval of Security Guard Companies, Recovery Agencies, and Professional Valuers. It is the responsibility of State Bank of Pakistan to List and Approve the Security Guard Companies, Recovery Agencies, and Professional Valuers in coordination with other Government authorities.
The first level deterrence abolished by State Bank of Pakistan. There is no security clearance of Security Guard from District POLICE by Financial Institutions.
Procurement of Sub-Standard Equipments
Bank officials are engaged in buying of Sub-Standard Surveillance Camera and Security Equipments at the expense of Share holders funds.
The video footage after bank robbery is useless for POLICE and Law Enforcement Agencies to arrest the Criminals.
In case POLICE arrest the Criminals, the Video footage is not acceptable in the Court of law as Witness. Without evidence and witness honorable judiciary is not able to take the competent Verdict against the Criminals. Security and Surveillance Professional of Banks are equally accountable on their wrong doing and mistakes.
Opening of Bank Branches in Non Commercial Areas
Most of the new Bank Branches are opened out of Commercial Area or Area which is declared as Commercial Area by Building Control and development Authorities against Bribe or Corruption.
The most of the areas are residential plots in City / Town Master Plan. It is not possible for the District POLICE to provide security to financial Institution after every half Kilometer in its jurisdiction.
State Bank of Pakistan official has never co-ordinate with District POLICE in the Branch Licensing process as well as never review the Town Master Plan in Major Cities.
It is the responsibility of District POLICE to preserve the finger prints, foot prints, complete photography of Crime Scene as per Standard follow by POLICE in every Country.
Unfortunately, POLICE start investigation with destruction of initial evidence and sabotage of Crime Scene, because POLICE in Pakistan is not accountable to any Authority or
Government has never taken action against the POLICE officials on their Bad Performance.
Banks are Insured Entities and Insurance Coverage is the strong tool to transfer the losses sustain by Bank in case of Bank Robbery to Insurance Sector of Pakistan as well as to International Re-Insurance Sector.
Therefore, Banks Management always considers the hiring of Competent Security and Surveillance professional as Business Overhead.
Bank’s Managements are well aware with the weakness of Insurance Rules that the Qualification of Insurance Surveyors under Insurance Rules is not suitable in the High Tech world as well as in declining Society of Pakistan.
Controller of Insurance, Ministry of Commerce was never took any step to prevent the Insurance Sector from fraudulent Activities under the area of Insurance Claims and In Last Twelve Years – There is no legislative development by Insurance Division of Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan.
Insurance Sector has sustained very heavy losses since 27-Dec-2007. International Re-Insurance Sector is not interested to create business relation with Pakistan, because Fraud and Cheating is not considered as Criminal offence. Banking Sector of Pakistan is involved in White Collar Crimes.
“Deliberate transferring of losses in said manner is considering as Fraud and Fraud is Schedule offence under Anti Money Laundering Act of Pakistan.”
It is the responsibility of Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan to protect the Interest of Minority Shareholders of Insurance Companies, All Listed Banks and Pakistan Re-Insurance Company (Owned by People of Pakistan) by conducting Fraud Examination of Insurance Company underwriting and Claims Operations related to Bank Robbery Coverage.
SECP also introduce the Fraud Investigation function in Banking Companies under command of Competent Fraud Examiners or Fraud Examination firm to protect the stake of Insurance Sector Shareholders.
JS Bank emerges as a successful bidder and beats downTurkish Isbank and KASB to takeover HSBC Pakistan, which made PKR 97 Crore last year in profits.
HSBC Pakistan made PKR 97 Crore in profits last yea Photo: AFP
Initially, MCB bank and UBL also expressed their interest to acquire HSBC Pakistan but State Bank decided to keep the big players out of this acquisition fight. Finally three banks – Isbank, KASB and JS Bank was given NOC to conduct due diligence of this acquisition.
HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank by assets and which was founded in Hong Kong, has been in process to discontinue its presence in many smaller Asian economies including South Kora, Japan and Thailand.
According to analysts, this successful takeover will help Jehangir Siddiqui’s Bank to improve its performance and size in Pakistan’s banking sector. JS Bank is currently rated A+ (Single A Plus), not a very impressive rating if compared with other big players, by Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA).
“This acquisition will act as a catalyst in achieving JS Bank’s growth strategy to position the bank as one of the key players in the financial sector with the introduction of premium banking and credit cards suite,” said the bank in a statement released to the press.
“HSBC Bank Middle East Limited [HBME], an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings, has entered into an agreement to sell its banking business in Pakistan to JS Bank,” it said in a statement.
“The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and the approval of the direct shareholders in HBME and JS Bank, is expected to complete in the final quarter of 2012.
The value of the deal is not disclosed yet by both the parties.
Pakistan Post, a state department, has announced the launch of Electronic Money Order service that will allow the masses to transfer funds up to PKR. 100,000 in matter of seconds.
Conventional money order service used to take few days for delivery however this new revamped service from Pakistan Post is said to be as quick as any other mobile banking solutions, such as EasyPaisa or UBL Omni.
Pakistan Post’s Electronic Money Order service is started as a pilot project in eleven cities (mentioned below) involving 17 GPOs (General Post Offices), where individuals can send and receive their payments instantly. It is said that service will be stretched to more cities in coming time.
Pakistan Post, which operates with losses in terms of business, was previously partnering with Mobilink for a similar kind of service where it used mobile phones for instant transferring of funds. But now, reportedly, Pakistan Post will use internet for immediate transfer of money.
Pakistan Post website isn’t displaying any information, as of now at least, on this new service, however, an advert appearing in various newspapers today details about the service charges, which are as below:
|Amount of Money Order
|up to Rs. 2,000
|From Rs. 2,000 and up to Rs. 5,000
|From Rs. 5,001 and up to Rs. 10,000
|From Rs. 10,001 and up to Rs. 15,000
|From Rs. 15,001 and up to Rs. 20,000
|From Rs. 20,001 and up to Rs. 30,000
|From Rs. 30,001 and up to Rs. 40,000
|From Rs. 40,001 and up to Rs. 50,000
|From Rs. 50,001 and up to Rs. 100,000
It is unclear so far if these service charges include taxes or not. We will confirm you on this as we hear back anything from Pakistan Post.
Electronic Money Order Service is Offered in Following GPOs:
- Karachi GPO
- Karachi City GPO
- Karachi Saddar GPO
- Karachi Korangi GPO
- Karachi Al-Hyderi GPO
- Karachi New Town GPO
- Lahore GPO
- Lahore Cantt GPO
- Islamabad GPO
- Rawalpindi GPO
- Faisalabad GPO
- Muzaffarabad GPO
- Sialkot GPO
- Quetta GPO
- Hyderabad GPO
- Peshawar GPO
- Multan GPO
The three-year bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement (CSA) between the State Bank of Pakistan and the Central Bank of Republic of Turkey (CBRT) amounting to $ 1 billion in equivalent local currencies is being implemented from Tuesday and SBP has issued necessary instructions to banks for its implementation after due consultations with various stakeholders and completion of operational formalities with CBRT.
A landmark bilateral CSA was signed between SBP and CBRT by SBP Governor, Yaseen Anwar and CBRT Governor, Erdem Ba, in presence of the presidents of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Turkey in November last year.
The objective of the currency swap is to promote bilateral trade between the two countries in the respective local currencies and any ‘other’ purpose as mutually agreed between the two central banks. Since the CSA is a bi-lateral financial transaction, all terms & conditions apply equally to both countries and the pricing is based on standard market benchmarks which are widely acceptable in the respective domestic markets.
Currency Swap Agreement between the two banks gave a positive signal to the market on the availability of liquidity of other country’s currency in the onshore market. The arrangement will augment the pool of liquidity available to finance bilateral trade between the two countries, supplementing the already available sources of liquidity.
By virtue of this arrangement, SBP will have the ability to draw on the swap line and provide Turkish Lira (TRY) to banks in Pakistan. Banks will on-lend this liquidity to importers/ exporters involved in trade denominated in TRY.
At maturity, the importer/exporter will repay the foreign currency to the lending bank, which in turn will repay to the respective central bank. In order to ensure transparency in determination of market interest rates, the State Bank of Pakistan has decided to conduct competitive auctions of Turkish Lira (TRY) Loan Facility.
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