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SBP tells banks how to facilitate Afghan refugees who want to open a bank account

March 1, 2019
 

In this picture taken on October 18, 2018 an Afghan refugee vendor pushes a wheelbarrow at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Islamabad. Photo: AFP

The State Bank of Pakistan instructed banks to accept the Proof of Registration (PoR) card as an acceptable identity document to open accounts for Afghan refugees.

The PoR would be issued by the National Database and Registration Authority.

SBP has issued a circular advising banks and development finance institutions on how to go about opening a bank account for registered Afghan refugees.

Accordingly, biometric verification of Afghan refugees holding a PoR card has been activated by NADRA from February 26 over the existing established linkage of CNIC verification.

The biometric verification service for Afghan refugee holding PoR card would work similar to the CNIC biometric verification system. Banks and DFIs shall verify the identity of the Afghan refugees holding a PoR card through the NADRA biometric verification system for opening of an account.

Related: Registered Afghan refugees can now open bank accounts: PM Imran Khan

For services offered by banks to their account holders, where CNIC and biometric verification is required under AML/CFT Regulations, a valid biometrically verified PoR card is acceptable as an identity document.

Banks and DFIs have also been advised to ensure compliance of all relevant legal and regulatory requirements including AML/ CFT preventive measures instructed from time to time by the SBP to open an account.

Four days ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan issued instructions that Afghan refugees who are registered can open bank accounts in the country. He made this announcement through a Tweet.

Around 2.3 million Afghans ‘refugees’ are living in cities across Pakistan. According to the UNCHR, 1.4 million are registered with the government and the rest are undocumented.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Muhammad Ismail Rind   April 17, 2019 8:47 pm/ Reply

    dear concerned biometric system not working on por cards kindly confirm for banks afghan Refugees account opening procedure.

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