Circulars/Notifications / Agricultural Credit & Microfinance Department  

 AC&MFD Circular Letter No. 3 of 2020
March 26, 2020

The Presidents/Chief Executives,
Microfinance Banks

Dear Sirs/Madams,

Measures to Mitigate COVID-19 Pandemic - AML/ CFT Regulations

          In order to help mitigate the risk of spread of COVID-19 which may arise from physical contact/ interaction during account opening activities, Microfinance Banks (MFBs) are advised to take the following measures until June 30, 2020:

  1. MFBs shall utilize NADRA Verisys in place of Biometric Verification (BMV) for verification purposes, in conjunction with the following measures, to mitigate possible risks of identity theft;

    1. MFBs shall acquire a signed undertaking from the customer, as follows:

      1. Acknowledging physical presence of the customer at the time of account opening/ establishing relationship, counter signed by relevant branch officer (Permanent Employee).

      2. Acceptance by the customer to comply with BMV requirement within 60 days from the noted timeline.

      3. MFBs shall retain the same on record.

  2. The MFB shall inform the customers that in case of non-compliance of para 1(A)(i)(b) above, the relationship may be terminated as per Para 20 of AML/CFT Regulations.

  3. MFBs shall maintain a separate, system based list of these relationships at Head Office level, under special categorization to facilitate ongoing monitoring.

  4. Relaxation under para 1(A) above may also be extended to relationships established under Note-(iv), Annexure-H of the AML/ CFT Regulations.

  5. MFBs shall pay special attention to account closure requests of the accounts listed as per para 1(C) above, if the closure request is initiated within a short period of account opening or before regularization of account through BMV.

  6. Further, timelines prescribed for drive of biometric verification of existing/legacy portfolio of customers vide AC&MFD Circular No. 04 of 2019 are being postponed. However, after the lapse of this circular letter, MFBs shall resume biometric verification with revised timelines of July 31, 2020 and September 30, 2020 for customers assigned medium and normal priorities, respectively.

  7. All other regulatory instructions on AML/CFT shall remain the same.

2.       MFBs are encouraged to introduce as early as possible electronic account opening forms/ other forms to reduce risk of spread of COVID-19 from transmission through paper based account opening. Furthermore, MFBs are also encouraged to electronically acquire and keep on record information required under AML/ CFT Regulations for MFBs.

3.       Moreover, it is apprised that NADRA has extended the validity period of the National Identity Cards with expiry date after September 01, 2019, and these shall be deemed valid till July 01, 2020 (copy of NADRA letter dated March 18, 2020 enclosed). MFBs are advised to disseminate the contents of NADRA’s notification down the line to all relevant staff.

4.       MFBs are advised to ensure meticulous compliance of the same.

5.       Please acknowledge receipt.

(Encl: As above)

Yours sincerely,


(Noor Ahmed)


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