SBP issues instructions for opening bank accounts of Afghan refugees

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issued instructions for banks regarding opening of bank accounts by Afghan refugees.

In a circular issued on Thursday, the SBP said that National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had informed that biometric verification for opening bank accounts of Afghan refugees holding Proof of Registration (PoR) Card has been made live w.e.f February 26, 2019 over the existing established linkage of CNIC verification.

The biometric verification service for Afghan refugees holding PoR Card would work similar to the CNIC biometric verification system.

Accordingly, for opening accounts of Afghan refugees holding PoR Card, banks/DFIs may accept the valid Proof of Registration (PoR) Card issued by NADRA as identity document. In this regard, banks/DFIs shall verify the identity of the Afghan refugees holding PoR Card through NADRA biometric verification system for opening of account.

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

However, banks/DFIs are advised to ensure compliance of all relevant legal and regulatory requirements including AML / CFT preventive measures instructed by SBP for account opening from time to time.

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