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Roshan Digital Accounts are being offered by banks to provide digital banking solutions to millions of Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs) including Non-Resident POC Holders. Now NRPs willing to undertake banking, payment and investment activities can do so through digital channels without visiting bank branches in Pakistan. Any NRP can now easily open a bank account in a Pakistani bank from abroad digitally, with simplified requirements, through designated banks. The Roshan Digital Account is a conventional bank account that can be opened and operated remotely, over the internet.

Currently these banks are providing digital accounts to overseas Pakistanis:

    1. ٓAllied Bank

    2. Bank Alfalah

    3. Bank Al Habib

    4. Bank of Punjab

    5. Dubai Islamic Bank

    6. Faysal Bank

    7. Habib Bank

    8. HabibMetro

    9. JS Bank

    10. MCB Bank

    11. Meezan Bank

    12. Samba Bank

    13. Standard Chartered Bank

    14. United Bank

There are two types of accounts offered under Roshan Digital Accounts. These are:

    1. Foreign Currency Value Account (FCVA)

    2. NRP Rupee Value Account (NRV)

Any of the following are eligible to open a Foreign Currency Value Account (FCVA):

    1. A non-resident individual Pakistani.

    2. A non-resident POC card holder.

    3. A resident individual Pakistani who has duly declared assets held abroad, as per wealth statement declared in latest tax return with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). For the time being, these individuals will need to visit a bank branch to open this account as digital on-boarding is not yet available for resident Pakistanis.

    4. Employees or officials of the Federal or Provincial Governments posted abroad in the tax year

Any of the following are eligible to open NRP Rupee Value Account (NRVA):

    1. A non-resident individual Pakistani.

    2. A non-resident POC card holder.

    3. Employees or officials of the Federal or Provincial Governments posted abroad in the tax year

The definition of non-resident has been adopted from the Income Tax Ordinance (Chapter 5, Division II, Section 82), which is as follows:
An individual shall be treated as a non-resident for a tax year if he/she is not a resident person for that year. An individual shall be a resident individual for a tax year if the individual -

a) is present in Pakistan for a period of, or periods amounting in aggregate to, one hundred and eighty three days or more in the tax year (Jul-Jun);

b) is present in Pakistan for a period of, or periods amounting in aggregate to, one hundred and twenty days or more in the tax year and in the four years preceding the tax year, has been in

You will need to upload scanned copies of the following documents to open an account. The list below is a standardized list applicable across all banks participating in RDA. On occasion a bank may seek additional documents from some customers for completing their necessary due diligence based on the customer’s risk profile. If you feel that the bank is asking for too much information, please write to SBP at [email protected] with customer information and name of the bank.

    1. CNIC/ NICOP/ POC.

    2. Passport (Pakistani and/or foreign country).

    3. Proof of non-resident status.

    4. Applicable IRS FATCA forms (only for customers in the US)

      1. Proof of profession and source of income/ funds. For example, any one of the following documents:

        • For salaried individuals any one of the following: employment letter, salary slip or bank account statement

        • For business persons any one of the following: business registration document, business letter head or bank account statement

After the on-line form has been successfully completed and documents correctly uploaded, the account will be opened within 2 working days. If there is any need for further clarification on the part of the bank, their representative will contact the customer.

Yes, apart from a conventional banking account, banks will also provide the option of an Islamic Banking Account to customers.

A non-resident Pakistani/POC holder can open an FCVA/NRVA jointly with other resident/non-resident Pakistanis, as per applicable laws/banking practices. The account shall be treated as a non-resident account. However, a resident Pakistani having foreign assets declared with FBR can open an FCVA jointly with a resident only.

No. Customers already having account in Pakistani bank will have to open a new RDA account with one of the banks currently designated by SBP.

Yes, a minor can open RDA jointly with his/her parents/guardian, after fulfilling the legal formalities and the chosen bank’s policy requirements.

FCVA can be opened in all major currencies which include US Dollar (USD), Pound Sterling (GBP), Euro (EUR), Japanese Yen (JPY), Canadian Dollar (CAD), UAE Dirham (AED), Saudi Riyal (SAR), Chinese Yuan (CNY), Swiss Franc (CHF) and Turkish Lira (TRY). However, if the customer wishes to invest in the special foreign-currency denominated security of the Government of Pakistan (the USD/GBP/EUR-denominated Naya Pakistan Certificate), the required amount of investment will have to be converted into US/GBP/EUR at the prevailing rate.

These accounts can be fed with remittances received from abroad through banking channels. Funds in an NRVA can also be transferred from the customer’s own Foreign Currency Value Account (FCVA) or other NRVA with the same bank. Moreover, returns on investments and disinvestment proceeds on account of investments made from these accounts can also be credited in these accounts.

No, these accounts cannot be credited with the funds generated from local sources except for the profit/return earned on eligible investments as well as disinvestment/maturity proceeds of investments made from these accounts.

Yes, the funds available in these accounts can be used for making any legitimate payment or transfer to other local accounts in Pakistan. The funds can also be withdrawn in cash in Pakistan through ATM or cheque.

A - Investments allowed from NRP Rupee Value Account (NRVA):

    1. Pakistani rupee-denominated debt securities of Government of Pakistan (including Pakistani-rupee Naya Pakistan Certificates, T-bills, PIBs, Sukukregistered CDNS securities, DSC/SSC/Premium prize bonds, and any other registered securities of the government as notified from time to time).

    2. Shares/units quoted on the stock exchange(s) in Pakistan.

    3. Units of Mutual funds (Open Ended Scheme)

    4. Residential and commercial real estate

    5. Pakistani-rupee denominated Deposit products of the bank maintaining the account.

B – Investments allowed from Foreign Currency Value Account (FCVA):

    1. Foreign currency-denominated debt securities of the Government of Pakistan, including USD/GBP/EUR Naya Pakistan Certificates.

    2. Foreign-currency deposit products of the bank maintaining the account.

Investment can be made for purchase of any kind of residential and commercial properties, both in lump sum and instalments. This includes new housing schemes, existing schemes, the purchase of land, and the purchase of already constructed property.

Investment in real estate from NRVA can be made either in the name of the account holder or jointly with his/her family member(s), which includes parents, brother, sister, wife, children and lineal ascendant and descendants.

Yes, banks are allowed to issue ATM/ debit Cards in these accounts and these can be used for payments/withdrawal in Pakistan and abroad. Further, banks are also allowed to issue cheque books for these accounts, if required by the account holder. The digital accounts will also provide the facility of virtual debit cards in the coming days for shopping in Pakistan or abroad.

In Pakistan, the funds will be disbursed in PKR. However, in case a bank has an arrangement to disburse foreign currency through ATM, disbursement can also be made in foreign currency in case of withdrawal from FCVA.
In case of withdrawal outside Pakistan, either the currency of the resident country or any other currency offered for withdrawal in the relevant country shall be disbursed, subject to terms and conditions of payment scheme e.g. VISA/Master. It may be noted that applicable conversion rates may vary from currency to currency.

Once the account is opened, the account holder will have the option to use all sorts of digital services being offered by the bank, including internet banking, virtual debit card, etc. However, if the customer so wishes, he/she can receive ATM/Debit card and/or cheque book either through courier at his/her registered address abroad or in Pakistan OR by physically visiting the bank’s branch. The bank shall share the services charges for sending the ATM/Debit Cards and/or cheque book with the account holder and also obtain explicit consent from the account holder for sending them at a registered mailing address abroad or in Pakistan.

Yes, use of ATM/Debit card abroad shall be subject to applicable charges as per respective bank’s schedule of charges.

The funds available in these accounts can be remitted back from Pakistan at any time without prior approval from the bank or SBP.
However, in case of disinvestment in real estate before three years from the date of investment, the principal amount invested can be repatriated at any time while the capital gain, if any, can be repatriated after three years from the date of investment. In case the investment is made in instalments, the date of payment of the last instalment shall be treated as date of investment. Please refer to Annexure A para 1 (d) of the FE Circular 01 of 2020 available at http://www.sbp.org.pk/epd/2020/FEC1.htm.

 

The charges will be applied by the sending bank abroad as per their schedule of charges. Banks have made special arrangements with most of their correspondent banks to bring down transfer charges in the range of $5 - $9. For more information on charges, you may contact the bank with which you have opened an RDA or intend to open.

Any transaction through these accounts within Pakistan shall be subject to the charges applicable to transactions as per the schedule of charges of the bank available at the bank’s website.

    1. For transfer of funds from FCVA to NRVA, the bank will use the prevailing buying exchange rate at the time of transfer of funds while for transfer from NRVA to FCVA, the bank will use the prevailing selling exchange rate.

    2. At the time of receipt of funds in NRVA from abroad, the bank will use the prevailing buying exchange rate at the time of transfer of funds into the account. For remitting funds from NRVA back from Pakistan, the bank will use the prevailing selling exchange rate.

    3. For transfer/ payment using ATM/debit cards, additional service charges of the bank and payment scheme e.g. VISA/Master may be applicable.

In case of death of the account holder, the balance available in the account and the outstanding investment made from the account including accrued profit/return, if any, will be paid to the legal heirs of the deceased in accordance with applicable law of inheritance.

The profit on the Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs) shall be subject to deduction of tax at rate of ten percent at source. This tax shall be full and final discharge of tax liability in respect of profit on the Certificates. There shall be no requirement for tax return filing in respect of profit on the Certificates. An example of calculation of tax on NPCs is give hereunder:


Currency Investment Tenor Rate of Profit (Per Annum) Profit Amount Tax @ 10% Net Profit after Tax Amount receivable at Maturity
USD 100,000 3 M 5.5% 1,375 137.5 1,237.5 101,237.50
GBP 100,000 6 M 5.5% 2,750 275 2,475 102,475.00
EUR 100,000 12 M 5.25% 5,250 525 4,725 104,725.00
PKR 100,000 12 M 10.50% 10,500 1,050 9,450 109,450.00

No, in terms of Section 3(1)(a)(b) of the Zakat and Ushr Ordinance, 1980, read with Rule 24-A of the Zakat Collection & Refund Rules, 1981, compulsory deduction of Zakat is not applicable on RDA (both FCVA and NRVA).

Based on diaspora feedback and SBP recommendations, the Federal Government has introduced a new simple, convenient and hassle-free tax regime for NRPs having Roshan Digital Account (RDA). This includes all investments made by Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs) in Government debt securities, both conventional and Shariah complaint, stock market, mutual funds, real estate deposit products of the bank, through RDAs. The features of this new tax regime for NRPs having RDAs are as follows:
Banking Transactions by NRPs

  • No withholding tax on cash withdrawals or account-to-account transfer by NRPs2

RDA Deposits of NRPs
  • No need to file tax returns on profit from RDA deposits3
  • Profit earned on RDA deposits is tax exempt4
  • No withholding tax will be deducted against profit on RDA deposits5
  • No need to obtain an exemption certificate from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)6

Investment in Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs)
  • No need to file tax returns on profit on NPCs7
  • Full and final tax of 10 percent on profit on NPCs for both NRPs and resident Pakistanis having declared assets abroad8

Investment in Shares and Mutual Funds by NRPs
  • No need to file tax returns on dividends and capital gains9
  • Full and final tax of 15 percent on capital gains
  • Full and final tax of 15 percent on dividends received from mutual funds and companies except IPPs and the tax exempt companies which are taxed at 7.5 percent and 25 percent respectively
  • No penalty or doubling of the tax rate due to absence from Active Taxpayer’s List (ATPL)10

Investment in Property by NRPs
  • No need to file tax returns for NRPs on capital gains on sale of properties11
  • Full and final capital gains tax of 1 percent on value at the time of sale of properties
  • Full and final payment of 1 percent tax on value at the time of purchase of properties

1For the purposes of this tax regime, NRPs include Non-resident individuals having Pakistan Origin Card (POC), National ID Card for Overseas Pakistanis or Computerized National ID Card (CNIC).
2Clause 112A of Part IV of the 2nd Schedule exempts the NRPs from deduction of tax under section 231A, 231AA and 236P of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
3Clause 114A of Part IV of the 2nd Schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
4Clause 78 and 79 of Part I of 2nd Schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
5Clause 5AC of Part II of 2nd Schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
6Clause 5AC of Part II of 2nd Schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
7Clause 114A of Part IV of the 2nd Schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
8Clause 5A and 5AA of Part II of 2nd Schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
9Clause 114A of Part IV of the 2nd Schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

The instructions applicable to RDA are different from the ones applicable to existing FCY accounts, particularly the existing FCY account can be funded from domestic sources, therefore funds from existing FCY account cannot be transferred to RDA.

SBP has changed the regulations to facilitate NRPs. Now, dormant account can be reactivated without the need to physically visit the branch. Please see URL: https://www.sbp.org.pk/bprd/2020/CL32.htm

Inter-bank rates are for transactions between banks and not between a bank and its customers. Because of transactional size and other operational processes involved, the exchange rates offered by banks to their customers may vary. However, banks are required to transparently provide the customer rate of exchange prevalent at the time on their website (both side FX sell and buy).

There is no restriction from FX regulations’ perspective for financing to the NRP and his/her relatives locally, including credit card facility. However, this is a credit risk decision of the banks whether or not to offer any such product for which the account holder may contact its bank.

Upon return to Pakistan an NRP would have two options:

(A) Continue to maintain RDA - in that case all privileges available in RDA would be available going forward to the extent of balance available in RDA or any investment done through it, that is the disinvestment proceeds can be received in RDA. The status of the account would remain repatriable. The customer would have liberty to use it domestically or internationally. However, no domestic funds would be allowed to be deposited in these.
No further investments would be permissible through PKR RDA. For RDA in FCY, if the customer has assets abroad that have been declared with FBR these could be used to fund FCY RDA and invest in FCY GOP securities.
Along with above, if customer receives domestic funds the customers would be required to have a resident rupee account and operate it accordingly.

(B) Change the status of RDA to resident. In case the customer chooses to convert its RDA into a resident account, the privileges especially that of repatriation attached to the account would not be available. However, the disinvestment proceeds of already invested funds could be received in the accounts. The account could be used freely as resident account.

It depends upon the bank’s comfort, SBP has given minimum regulatory requirements. If a customer’s profile changes, bank may ask for any further information / document. Customers need to provide their information transparently so that the bank has comfort in dealing with and facilitating them according to their requirements.

Yes, RDA holder can withdraw fund in foreign currency as well as in Pak Rupees in Pakistan.

No, Funds generated either through rent or sale of the existing property cannot be deposited in RDA. However, where the property has been purchased through RDA, rent/profit (capital gain) arising from such property can be deposited in RDA and can also be repatriated back, if required.

Yes, more than one RDAs can be opened with the same or different banks.





Please share your questions or feedback related to the Roshan Digital Accounts initiative with SBP at [email protected]