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Financial consumer protection is one of the important policy objectives pursued by the central banks and financial regulators around the globe. There is growing consensus amongst global policy makers that achieving financial inclusion and stability hinges on enhancing the consumers’ confidence in the financial system. Inception of a dedicated Banking Conduct & Consumer Protection Department (BC&CPD) is an initiative of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to create/promote culture of social responsibility in banks/Development Finance Institutions (DFIs)/Microfinance Banks (MFBs) for amicably resolving disputes, thereby protecting the rights of the financial consumers.

Headed by a Director who reports to Executive Director – Banking Supervision Group, BC&CPD effectively deals with public grievances against banks/DFIs/MFBs in a prompt, fair and transparent manner. The Department is also entrusted with the responsibility to prepare and review consumer protection policies and guidelines. BC&CPD ensures that banks are effectively managing affairs with regard to collection of utility bills and disbursement of pension through branches. Further, the Department also ensures timely surrendering of unclaimed deposits in terms of Section 31 of Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962 and refund of unclaimed deposits of the account holders. Moreover, the Department’s role is also very critical in collecting, collating and disseminating credit information through eCIB to and from banks for effective credit risk management.

Analysis of Complaint Handling Mechanisms at Banks

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