SBP governor says it'll allow expats to invest in stock market
The State Bank of Pakistan is considering the introduction of digital bank accounts for overseas Pakistanis, the central bank’s governor, Reza Baqir, said on Wednesday.
“They will not have to be physically here in Pakistan nor visit any consulate in their country of residence. No documents will be required as this will be opened through a paperless experience,” the governor said during a webinar, Pakistan Economy: Post Covid 19, Central Bank’s Perspective.
The expats will be able to use this digital bank account for various services. These include, but are not limited to, payments for utility bills and credit card purchases and investment into the government’s treasury bills on attractive profit rates, Baqir said.
Overseas Pakistanis will be able to invest directly into the Pakistan Stock Exchange and various savings schemes, such as National Savings Certificates on special profit rates, he said.
“Down the line, they will also be given the option to invest in real estate schemes,” he said, adding more details about this product will be shared when they will make a formal announcement.
Pakistan’s remittances dropped 5% in March and are likely to reduce further because of the ongoing economic slump.
Ashfaq Yousuf Tola, chairperson of the Economic Advisory and Government Relationship Committee, questioned what the central bank is doing in this regard.
Baqir responded by saying the SBP is considering opening new financial channels for Pakistani diaspora abroad. The purpose is to facilitate expats, engineers and doctors, for example, who have significant savings to invest, which will eventually support the country’s foreign exchange reserves.