The Presidents/ Chief Executives,
All Banks / DFIs
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, banks/ DFIs are advised to take the following measures until June 30, 2020:
- Banks 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;
- Bank shall acquire a signed undertaking from the customer, as follows:
- Acknowledging physical presence of the customer at the time of account opening/ establishing relationship, counter signed by relevant branch officer (Permanent Employee).
- Acceptance by the customer to comply with BMV requirement within 60 days from the date of expiry of this Circular Letter.
- Bank shall retain the same on record.
- The bank shall inform customers that in case of non-compliance of para 1(A)(i)(b) above, the relationship may be terminated as per Para 19 of the AML CFT Regulations.
- Banks shall maintain a separate, system based, list of these relationships at Head Office level, under special categorization to facilitate ongoing monitoring.
- Relaxation under para 1(A) above may also be extended to relationships established under Note-4, Annexure-I of the AML/ CFT Regulations.
- Banks shall pay special attention to account closure requests of 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.
- All other instructions on AML/CFT shall remain the same.
2. Banks 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, banks are also encouraged to electronically acquire and keep on record information required under AML/ CFT Regulations for Banks/ DFIs.
3. Furthermore, 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). Banks are advised to disseminate the contents of NADRA’s notification down the line to all relevant staff.
4. Banks are advised to ensure meticulous compliance of the above instructions.
5. Please acknowledge receipt.
(Encl: As above)