| 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:
- approach respective banks/MFBs/DFIs’ Complaint Management Units for resolution of complaint;
- 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
- Contact SBP in any other case.
Further, microfinance consumers, do not fall within the jurisdiction of BMP, they 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:
- 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
- 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:
Within 48 hours of the receipt of the complaint.
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.
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:
- the reasons /justification on the basis of which the complaint is denied; and
- 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:
- 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;
- Delays or fraud in relation to the payment or collection of cheques, drafts or other banking instruments or the transfer of funds;
- Fraudulent or unauthorized withdrawals or debit entries in accounts;
- Complaints from exporters or importers relating to banking services and obligations including letter of credits;
- Complaints from holders of foreign currency accounts, whether maintained by residents or non-residents;
- Complaints relating to remittances to or from abroad;
- Complaints relating to mark-up or interest rates based on the ground of a violation of an agreement or of State Bank directives;
- Complaints relating to the payment of utility bills.
- 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:
- Corrupt or malafide practices by the bank officers;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
5th floor, M. R. Kiyani Road
P.O Box 604, Karachi
- 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.
- After confirming that all procedural requirements have been met, BMP may call for additional information from both parties, if necessary.
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 responsible Banking Conduct in banks/DFIs/MFBs and redress consumers grievance and protect the rights of customers.
Please take a note of following before lodging of complaint against banks/DFIs/MFBs.
- First contact the concerned bank/DFI/MFB and try to settle the problem directly.
- 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.
- You can also lodge complaints requiring urgent action like ATM issue with SBP. However, before lodging a complaint against banks/DFIs/MFBs, please ensure to include in your complaint the following:
- your name, complete postal address, Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) and contact numbers;
- 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;
- complete description of complaint along with chronology of events; and
- attach copies of letters or other supporting documents that may help us investigate complaint. (Do not attach original documents).
The customers/borrowers can send us their complaint at:
Through Surface Mail to:
Banking Conduct & Consumer Protection Department
State Bank of Pakistan
I.I. Chundrigar Road
Through email at:
For General Banking Complaints
Or they may also contact us at our following Helpline number for assistance
Grievance Commissioner Cell for Overseas Pakistanis
The Honorable Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan has established the Grievance Commissioner Cell for Overseas Pakistanis in Federal Ombudsman Secretariat 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
| Land line number:
| Mobile Number:
||Federal (Wafaqi Mohtasib) Ombudsman Secretariat, 36-Constitution Avenue, G-5/2, Islamabad, Paksitan.
Focal Person of SBP handling complaints through Grievance Commissioner Cell for Overseas Pakistanis