Consumer Protection










 Complaint Resolution:


The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has instructed all banks, Microfinance banks (MFBs) and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to put in place “Consumer Grievance Handling Mechanism (CGHM)” for efficient resolution of consumers’ complaints and grievances. A CGHM in banks/MFBs/DFIs encompasses philosophy about customer complaints, the hierarchy, systems and procedures to deal with the complaints in fair, transparent and efficient manner. The banks/MFBs/DFIs serve as first line of defense against grievances of banks’ customers. The aggrieved consumers are encouraged to:
  1. approach respective banks/MFBs/DFIs’ Complaint Management Units for resolution of complaint;
  2. approach Banking Mohtasib Pakistan (BMP), an independent statutory body working as an alternate dispute resolution center, for amicable resolution of disputes, If the bank is failed to resolve to the issue; and
  3. Contact SBP in any other case.               

Further, microfinance consumers, who do not fall within the jurisdiction of BMP, can approach SBP for the purpose. However, SBP does not intervene in subjudice matter/ disputes/ complaints (matters pending adjudication before the competent court of law) or at any law enforcement agency (FIA/NAB etc).


Complaint Handling Mechanism at Banks:

If you are aggrieved with any service or product offered by the bank/MFB, you can lodge complaint at “Complaint Management Unit (CMU)” of respective bank and MFB.  The banks have established centralized “Complaint Management System (CMS) which handles complaints received through surface mail, fax, email, website or complaints lodged at banks’ call centers. CMU is headed by the senior position which directly report to the Chief Executive Officer of banks/MFB. On receipt of complaint, the respective banks/MFB shall:

  1. Send an acknowledgement via SMS, email, recorded line or surface mail confirming the receipt of the complaint and  briefly describing  complaint process, the time line to resolve or decide the complaint and the contact details for follow up on complaint; and
  1. Send interim reply stating expected time during which final reply is provided in form of SMS, emails etc., in case a complaint requires detailed investigation;

Complaint Resolution Time Line:

Acknowledgment

Within 48 hours of the receipt of the complaint.

Interim reply
After 10 working days in case the matter requires detailed scrutiny. These sorts of complaints may include issues relating to  fraud, embezzlement of funds, repayment disputes, etc.
Final reply


Within 7 working days if the complaint is of minor nature and does not require detailed investigation. These may include complaint of misbehavior, malfunctioning of system, repayment or settlement disputes etc. In any case the complaint must be disposed of within 15 days. However, the fraud related cases the final reply to the complainant must be issued within 30 days from the lodgment of the complaint.


Not all complaints can be resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant. In such cases, the bank/MFB shall inform to complainant:

  1. the reasons /justification on the basis of which the complaint is denied; and
  2. the alternate grievance resolution forums  available along with their contact details.

Contact details of Banks/MFBs/DFIs:
List of All banks/MFBs/DFIs and their websites can be viewed here:



Complaint Handling Mechanism at BMP:

The Banking Mohtasib Pakistan (BMP) is an independent statutory body established to resolve disputes between consumers and banks. BMP derives its powers from the Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962. The role of BMP in the financial industry is to resolve disputes through a process which is largely conciliatory and, where mediation is unsuccessful, to recommend a basis for the settlement of a dispute. The Banking Mohtasib exercises his powers and authority in relation to all banks operating in Pakistan. 
Types of Complaints BMP Entertains:
  1. Failure to act in accordance with banking laws and regulations including policy directives or guidelines issued by the State Bank from time to time. Provided that if there is a dispute as to the proper interpretation of any regulations, directions or guidelines, the same shall be referred to the State Bank of Pakistan for clarification; 
  2. Delays or fraud in relation to the payment or collection of cheques, drafts or other banking instruments or the transfer of funds; 
  3. Fraudulent or unauthorized withdrawals or debit entries in accounts; 
  4. Complaints from exporters or importers relating to banking services and obligations including letter of credits; 
  5. Complaints from holders of foreign currency accounts, whether maintained by residents or non-residents;
  6. Complaints relating to remittances to or from abroad; 
  7. Complaints relating to mark-up or interest rates based on the ground of a violation of an agreement or of State Bank directives; 
  8. Complaints relating to the payment of utility bills. 
  9. In relation to banks in the public sector. The Banking Mohtasib is authorized to entertain complaints against such banks on the following additional grounds as well: 
  10. Corrupt or malafide practices by the  bank officers; 
  11. Gross dereliction of duty in dealing with customers; and inordinate delays in taking decisions.

Complaints Lodgment Procedure:
Approach concerned bank in writing to resolve your complaint stating in the letter that you intend to refer the grievance to the Banking Mohtasib if matter not resolved to your satisfaction. 

  1. If you do not receive a reply from bank within 45 days, or find the reply unsatisfactory, you may file a complaint with the Banking Mohtasib on the prescribed complaint form. 
  2. The complaint form duly completed, signed and attested by an Oath Commissioner should be attached to your letter of complaint addressed to the Banking Mohtasib and sent to: 

Banking Mohtasib Pakistan 
Shaheen Complex 
5th floor, M. R. Kiyani Road 
P.O Box 604, Karachi
http://www.bankingmohtasib.gov.pk/

  1. Make sure that all related correspondence with the bank and copies of all relevant documents are also sent to the Banking Mohtasib. Do not send original documents. 
  2. BMP endeavors to resolve most complaints within 2 months. However, depending on complexity, some complaints can take longer to resolve. 
  3. After confirming that all procedural requirements have been met, BMP may call for additional information from both parties, if necessary, to better understand the issue. If needed, BMP may visit banks to examine their books, procedures and processes relating to a complaint.

The outcome of this will be:

  1. If complaint is found to be unjustified – in such cases BMP informs the complainant accordingly and closes the case;
  2. If complaint is found to be genuine – in such cases BMP institutes a process of mediation to achieve an amicable resolution between both parties.

If the matter cannot be resolved amicably, BMP passes a suitable Order asking the bank to rectify the situation or make good the complainant's loss. Additionally, where warranted, BMP may direct the bank to pay to the complainant a reasonable compensation for hardship, if any, suffered by the complainant as a result of the bank's conduct.

Appeal Against the decision of Banking Mohtasib Pakistan:

In terms of provision of Federal Ombudsmen Institutional Reforms Act, 2013, any person or party aggrieved by a decision, order, findings or recommendations of the Banking Mohtasib may file representation to the President within thirty days of a decision, order, findings or recommendations.

Complaint Handling Mechanism at SBP

Within the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the Banking Conduct & Consumer Protection Department has been entrusted with the responsibility to deal with complaints related to banking issues against banks/DFIs/MFBs. The creation of dedicated department is a mandate of SBP to create/promote culture of social responsibility in banks/DFIs/MFBs for resolution of disputes, thereby protecting the rights of customers.

The consumers/borrowers of banks/MFBs/ DFIs can lodge their complaints with SBP, if they are of the view that a bank is unfair or misleading, discriminated or acted detrimental to the instructions/ guidelines or violated any law or regulation in vogue. Please take a note of following before lodging of complaint against banks/DFIs/MFBs.

  1. First contact the concerned bank/DFI/MFB and try to settle the problem directly.
  2. If you are not being heard or your problem/issue remained unresolved, then preferably contact Banking Mohtasib Pakistan (BMP) (www.bankingmohtasib gov.pk) in minimum 45 days.
  3. You can also lodge complaints requiring urgent action with SBP. However, before lodging a complaint against banks/DFIs/MFBs, ensure to include in your complaint the following:

    1. your name, complete postal address, Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) and contact numbers;
    2. complete name and address of the bank & its branch/office involved in your complaint and names of the officials you dealt with at the bank/DFI/MFB;
    3. complete description of complaint along with chronology of events; and
    4. attach copies of letters or other supporting documents that may help us investigate complaint. (Do not attach original documents).
The customers/borrowers can:
  • Lodge a written complaint at Customer Facilitation Centre located at the State Bank of Pakistan, Banking Services Corporation Offices across Pakistan (Karachi, Hyderababd, Sukkur, Quetta, Bahawalpur, Multan, Dera Ismail Khan, Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Muzaffarabad).

  • Send us their complaint at:

    Through Surface Mail to:
    Director 
    Banking Conduct & Consumer Protection Department 
    State Bank of Pakistan 
    I.I. Chundrigar Road 
    Karachi

    Through email at:
    cpd.helpdesk@sbp.org.pk

    Through electronic complaint form:
    Online Complaint Form

Or they may also contact us at our Customer Facilitation Centre at following numbers for assistance.

 021- 32453555    Utility Bills
 021-99221148      Pension
 021- 99221147 & 99221149    General Banking
 021-32455514      Unclaimed Deposits
 021-32455562        BMP correspondence
 021-32453558      eCIB issues
   
 Or
 Fax us at:
 
 +92-21-99221160  
 +92-21-99221154  

Grievance Commissioner Cell for Overseas Pakistanis

The Honorable Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan, Mr. M.Salman Faruqui NI, has established the Grievance Commissioner Cell for Overseas Pakistanis in Federal Ombudsman Secretariat by appointing Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar, Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan, Senior Advisor Law/Registrar as Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis under Section (7) of the Federal Ombudsmen Institutional Reforms Act, 2013, to address the individual and systematic issues of the Overseas Pakistanis related to the Federal Government Ministries, Departments, Organizations and Agencies.

The detail information for connecting the Secretariat of Federal Ombudsman and Grievance Commissioner Cell is as follows:

Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar
 Senior Advisor Law/Registrar Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis

 Website:

www.ombudsman.gov.pk

 Emails: hafizahsaan1973@gmail.com
advisor.hakhokhar@ombudsman.gov.pk
 Land line number: 0092-51-9217243
 Fax: 0092-51-9217256
 Mobile Number:   0092-300-8487161
 Address: Federal (Wafaqi Mohtasib) Ombudsman Secretariat, 36-Constitution  Avenue, G-5/2, Islamabad, Paksitan.


Focal Person for complaints against Banks/Development Finance Institutions/Microfinance Banks:

Director
Banking Conduct & Consumer Protection Department, 
 State Bank of Pakistan,
 I.I. Chundrigar Road,
 Karachi.
 Phone:     +92-21-32453522
                 +92-21-99221432
 Email: Overseas.Complaint@sbp.org.pk
 BC & CPD Helpdesk:
   Online Complaint Form
 For general Banking Related  Complaints:
 Phone:  +92-21-99221147 & +92-21-99221149
 
 For pension related complaints:
 Phone:  +92-21-99221148
 
 For utility bills  related complaints:
 Phone:  +92-21-32453555
 
 For BMP related queries:
 Phone:  +92-21-32455562
 
 For Unclaimed Deposits  related queries:
 Phone:  +92-21-32455514
 
 For eCIB related complaints:
 Phone:  +92-21-32453558
   +92-21-32453567
 Fax:  +92-21-99212489
 
 eCIB Helpdesk:
 http://221.120.199.3/ecibhelpdesk/ requestlog/consumer_cmp.aspx
 
 Fax:  +92-21-99221160
   +92-21-99221154
   
 Email:  cpd.helpdesk@sbp.org.pk
 



       
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