KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday issued guidelines for banks to ensure disclosure of key information for deposit accounts.
In a circular, the central bank said that effective disclosure is considered a fundamental component of the Financial Consumer Protection regime.
Standardized disclosures as Key Fact Statements (KFS) increase consumer comprehension about a banking product’s affordability and risks, leading to better decision-making.
Similarly, KFS also minimizes the risks of ineffective disclosures on part of the banks by standardizing the information provided to the consumer.
The SBP in its endeavor to promote Responsible Banking Conduct and Fair Treatment of Consumers (FTC) recognizes the importance of standardized disclosures.
Accordingly, KFS for consumer credit products and Most Important Document (MID) for third party products have already been issued vide CPD Circular No.3 of 2014, BC & CPD Circular No. 2 of 2016, and CPD Circular No. 2 of 2012.
KFS for deposit products have now been developed and are being issued through this circular for adoption as per the requirements listed below:
Banks/MFBs/DFIs are required to provide KFS to all their prospective customers from April 1, 2021, for comparison and decision making. Banks/MFBs/DFIs will ensure the availability of KFS in branches, on the website, e-banking interfaces, etc.
At the time of account opening, the KFS duly signed by the Banks/MFBs/DFIs, and the customer will be retained with the account opening form and its duplicate copy will be provided to the customer for record and information.
Banks/MFBs/DFIs are required to make necessary changes in their related SOPs and Policies for the seamless adoption of KFS to incorporate the requirement of KFS. Further, the provision of KFS as mentioned above in para 1 and the accuracy of the information contained therein will be checked by the Internal Audit during the regular audit.
Adequate consumer awareness initiatives and staff training may also be undertaken by Banks/MFBs/DFIs regarding the use of KFS and its vitality.