KARACHI: The central bank has allowed people with mental disorders to open a bank account through a well-defined process, a statement issued by the bank said on Tuesday.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that the process has been devised after a thorough consultation with the stakeholders.
“Now, for the first time in Pakistan, mentally disordered persons will be able to open a bank account under a new category of customer account namely, ‘Mentally disordered person account’ introduced by the SBP in its AML/CFT/CPF regulations,” it said.
The central bank has advised all banks to facilitate mentally disordered persons by allowing them to open and maintain a bank account with the help of a court-appointed manager as per the applicable laws related to mental health.
The account opening process will include the presentation of valid identity documents and biometric verification of mentally disordered persons and court-appointed managers by the National Database and Regulatory Authority (Nadra).
Moreover, the bank will verify a certified true copy of the court order to ensure the authenticity of the appointed manager.
All CDD requirements should be completed for both the persons to meet AML/CFT/CPF regulations, it said.
Earlier, the SBP had taken several measures and initiatives in consultation with the banking industry for the persons with disabilities such as giving special consideration for their employment and improvement in the accessibility infrastructure such as ramps and wheelchair facilities in their branches.
The SBP has also made available subsidized financial facilities and credit guarantee schemes for differently-abled persons. All these measures are being undertaken under a broader objective of improving financial inclusion in the country.
The SBP’s current step along with a new comprehensive financial inclusion policy for persons with disabilities, to be unveiled shortly, will pave the way for universal financial inclusion, including those of the marginalized segments, the statement added.