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Friday December 03, 2021

SBP governor stresses need for expeditious investigation of white-collar crimes

SBP says prosecution of criminals is needed to reduce incidences of money laundering, digital fraud

By Web Desk
November 20, 2021
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir. — Twitter/File
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir. — Twitter/File

KARACHI: There is a need for closer cooperation amongst banks, the central bank and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) so that "white-collar crimes are expeditiously investigated and fraudsters are apprehended and prosecuted", State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir stressed on Saturday.

A meeting was held under the chairmanship of Baqir to strengthen coordination against money laundering, digital fraud and cyber attacks.

According to a statement issued by the central bank, the officials present during the meeting were informed that the SBP has taken several measures in the recent past to strengthen its work on anti-money laundering (AML) measures as well as regulatory and supervisory steps  to improve bank controls to prevent digital and social engineering frauds.

During the meeting, it was decided that in addition to having better control at the level of financial institutions and enhanced customer awareness, effective investigation and prosecution of criminals is needed to substantially reduce the incidence of money laundering, digital fraud and cyber attacks.

“The FIA team offered support in strengthening cyber security at banks and suggested banks carry out Information Security (IS) audit of their systems,” the statement read.

Welcoming the suggestion, the SBP noted that as per the existing regulations, banks are required to regularly carry out an information systems audit and penetration testing: however, the same would be reemphasised to the industry through Pakistan Banks Association (PBA).