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SBP digitises banking policy regulatory approvals

November 16, 2021
SBP digitises banking policy regulatory approvals

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has started accepting online requests for banking policy regulatory approvals from financial institutions in a bid to enhance efficiency and eliminate paper-based submission of approval cases, it said on Monday.

Building upon its initiative of end-to-end digitisation of regulatory approval process, known as Regulatory Approval System (RAS), the SBP has now achieved another milestone by launching a module pertaining to the banking policy and regulations.

“With the launch of this module in RAS, banks, development finance institutions (DFIs), and microfinance banks (MFBs) can now submit their request letters/proposals on a dedicated online portal to SBP’s Banking Policy and Regulations Department whereby the State Bank of Pakistan, after digitally processing them, would also be in a position to disseminate the regulatory decisions to them through the same portal,” the central bank said in a statement.

Implementation of RAS for banking policy and regulation related issues will be effective from November 24, 2021. “It will enable banks, DFIs and MFBs to digitally submit their requests and receive regulatory decisions through a single window,” the State Bank of Pakistan said adding, “Nevertheless, in addition to online submission, banks, DFIs, and MFBs shall also continue with the manual submission of their cases that will cease after a brief transitory period till December 31, 2021”.

According to the statement, implementation of SBP’s RAS is expected to conserve precious resources, contribute towards SBP’s green banking initiative and bring efficiency in the communication between banking sector and SBP.

Moreover, this arrangement would also replace paper based submissions that are prone to logistic and storage issues, and cause inadvertent and unnecessary delays for relevant stakeholders, it added.

Earlier in October 2020, Governor SBP Dr Reza Baqir had launched the State Bank of Pakistan RAS for end-to-end digitisation of foreign exchange related case submission process.

The system turned out to be a huge success as it enabled customers to lodge their foreign exchange related requests from the location of their convenience thereby sparing valuable time previously spent in navigating paper-based processes. It also enabled banks to submit foreign exchange related cases electronically for regulatory approval of SBP and SBP-Banking Services Corporation (BSC), the central bank said.