Circulars/Notifications - Banking Conduct & Consumer Protection Department  
  BC&CPD Circular No. 01 of 2018
February 14, 2018 

The Presidents/ Chief Executives
All Banks/MFBs

Dear Sirs/Madams,


Call Center is considered as one of the growing needs of banking industry specially in the wake of digital transformation. Being cognizant of its functional importance and allied conduct risks, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) undertook a diagnostic review of Call Center management at banks. The findings of the review show variant Call Center management practices across the industry.

2. In order to ensure consistency and uniformity in efficient management of Call Centers across the industry, banks are advised to adopt the following measures as per the scope of their Call Centers:

a. Banks should have a comprehensive policy and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on Call Center management.

b. In order to ensure consumer confidentiality, adequate controls should be in place including but not limited to continuous CCTV vigilance, physical entry and exit checks, non accessibility to portable devices or cell phones, controlled accessibility to printers, emails, etc. at their Call Centers. Banks should also maintain and monitor comprehensive logs of call agents’ system based activities.

c. Banks should have an independent reporting line of Call Centers to avoid conflict of interest.

d. Banks should record all inbound and outbound calls and retain the recording in line with the record keeping requirement given in BC & CPD Circular No. 1 of 2016.

e. Banks should ensure that the consumers are explicitly informed about their calls being recorded at the Call Center. Marketing of banks’ products/services on incoming consumer calls at their expense is not fair. For marketing, telesales, etc. banks should make out bound calls or deploy toll free numbers.

f. Banks should have adequate IT controls, contingency set ups and Disaster Recovery Infrastructure for their Call Centers.

g. Banks should ensure adequate IT systems in line with the scope of their Call Centers having options of Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automated Call Distribution (ADC), combination of physical and knowledge based authentication tools, etc. Besides, banks should ensure that IT systems for Call Centers are properly evaluated as per the “Enterprise Technology Governance and Risk Management Framework” issued vide BP&RD Circular No.5 of 2017.

h. Banks should assess the performance of their Call Centers on regular basis and may use independent tools like mystery calls, consumer surveys, employees’ feedback, etc. Further, following parameters/Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) may be adopted with appropriate benchmarks as per international best practices:

Key Result Areas Parameters/KPIs
  • Courtesy
  • Accuracy
  • Average Handling Time
  • Ring No answer/ Abandoned Call rate
  • First Call Resolution
  • Average Speed of Answering
  • Manned hours
  • Punctuality
  • Attrition rate

i. Banks may preferably develop risk dashboards for periodic reporting to senior management along with a mechanism to escalate breaches in risk thresholds to the senior management.

j. In case of outsourcing of call centre function or its HR resources, relevant instructions on Outsourcing issued by SBP should also be complied with.

k. Banks are advised to implement the above guidelines latest by December 31, 2018.

Please acknowledge receipt.


Yours Truly,

(Muhammad Akmal)

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