Queen Maxima chairs round table discussion on Future of Digital Financial Services

Karachi, February 10, 2016 (PPI-OT): Her Majesty Queen Maxima of Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate on Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) chaired a round table discussion on “Future of Digital […]

Karachi, February 10, 2016 (PPI-OT): Her Majesty Queen Maxima of Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate on Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) chaired a round table discussion on “Future of Digital Financial Services” in Islamabad. The Queen Maxima is visiting Pakistan in her efforts to promote financial inclusion. The Round Table was organized by State Bank of Pakistan.

HE Queen said that Pakistan has one of the best regulatory frameworks which provide strong foundations for taking financial inclusion to its next level. She emphasized that the industry should collaborate to remove at least some of the key bottlenecks over the next three to four quarters to realize the potential of Digital Financial Services. Discouraging use of excess cash, availability of smart cell phone for the women and rationalizing cost of branchless banking services were some of the suggestion made by H.M. Queen. Sharing international experiences, she mentioned that interoperability should be viewed as a public good.

Before start of the detailed discussion, Governor SBP Ashraf Wathra, while giving his welcome remarks said that Digital Financial Services (DFS) has the potential to overcome the hurdles posed by the conventional business models. He pointed out that branchless banking is both convenient and affordable for underserved demographics in a highly cost-efficient manner. Governor Wathra shared that enabling regulatory environment has helped create the digital financial landscape in the country.

“Industry infrastructure has evolved as a key alternate delivery channel, advancing itself continuously to every nook and corner of the country”, said the Governor. While giving an overview of state of affairs of the branchless banking industry in the country, he pointed out that Digital Financial Services channel is largely used by low income persons. Round table discussants drilled down the key challenges and highlighted the need for bringing down the cost, increasing public trust and confidence in DFS through awareness and a need for learning from international practices.

Concluding the roundtable discussions, Deputy Governor Saeed Ahmad stressed upon the industry players to collaborate more for integrated solutions to remove the bottlenecks. He emphasized the role of other important stakeholders such as SECP and PTA in promotion of M-wallets accounts and other important areas which are essential in the promotion of Financial Inclusion and providing inclusive and sustainable services to poor segment of the society. The roundtable was attended by chairman of PTA Syed Ismail Shah, Ambassador of Netherland, senior representatives of regulatory bodies, NADRA, Telcos, Financial Institutions, Technology Services Provides, Donors and Multilateral Agencies.

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk

Overseas Pakistani workers remitted US $ 11198.18 million in first seven months (July to January) of FY16

Karachi, February 10, 2016 (PPI-OT): Overseas Pakistani workers remitted US $ 11198.18 million in the first seven months (July to January) of FY16, showing a growth of 6% compared with […]

Karachi, February 10, 2016 (PPI-OT): Overseas Pakistani workers remitted US $ 11198.18 million in the first seven months (July to January) of FY16, showing a growth of 6% compared with US $ 10565.9 million received during the same period in the preceding year.

During January 2016, the inflow of worker’s remittances amounted to US $ 1462.87 million, which is ‐10.64% lower than December 2015 and 4.21% higher than January 2015. The country wise details for the month of January 2016 show that inflows from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to US $ 462.18 million, US $ 313.32 million, US $ 179.56 million, US $ 172.53 million, US $ 190.38 million and US $ 28.64 million respectively compared with the inflow of US $ 452.81 million, US $ 289.79 million, US $ 197.39 million, US $ 178.4 million, US $ 162.31 million and US $ 25.85 million respectively in January 2015. Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during January 2016 amounted to US $116.26 million together as against US $97.19 million received in January 2015.

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk

Pakistan launches ‘Universal Financial Access Initiative’ to accelerate financial inclusion

Karachi, February 09, 2016 (PPI-OT): State Bank of Pakistan, together with the World Bank and the United Nations launched the “Universal Financial Access Initiative”, today. The event was held to […]

Karachi, February 09, 2016 (PPI-OT): State Bank of Pakistan, together with the World Bank and the United Nations launched the “Universal Financial Access Initiative”, today. The event was held to secure public and private sector commitments to achieve universal financial inclusion in Pakistan as envisaged under the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).

The event was graced by Her Majesty Queen Maxima of Netherlands who is also UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), President World Bank Group Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the Federal Finance Minister, Senator Mr. Muhammad Ishaq Dar, and Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Mr. Ashraf Mahmood Wathra.

Queen Maxima, while appreciating the efforts of Pakistan for improving financial inclusion remarked, “Today, Pakistan’s commitment to financial inclusion moves to a new level of action guided by the recently adopted National Financial Inclusion Strategy, supported by government and private-sector commitments, and with the backing of the World Bank Group, Pakistan is prepared to take flight.”

She added further that “thanks to the committed work of many, Pakistan has built one of the strongest foundations for financial inclusion in the world. New regulations have supported the emergence of branchless banking, a growing microfinance sector, effective payments systems and a more constructive approach to customer identification.

Speaking on the occasion the Finance Minister said, “Government’s development policy agenda is based on the principle of inclusive economic growth so that the benefits are shared across all segments of the society.” He termed Financial Inclusion as a critical enabler for achieving inclusive economic growth.

In his welcoming address, while highlighting the efforts of SBP, Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra shared that access to financial services has improved from 12% of population in 2008 to 23% in 2015. He said, “Universal Financial Access initiative, under the umbrella of the UN, the World Bank and the Government, will accelerate this pace and serve as a catalyst for improving socio-economic conditions and poverty alleviation.”

The Chairman of Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA) Muhammad Aftab Manzoor on behalf of banking and microfinance sector pledged full support in reaching out to public and achieving targets set under the NFIS. PBA pledged to increase access to M-wallet accounts to 50 % of the adults including 25% of female population and increasing other financial services to micro and small businesses by 2020. In addition, he pledged that banking sector will partner with SBP to enhance financial awareness and literacy under CSR initiatives.

In his concluding remarks the Deputy Governor, Saeed Ahmed, said that financial inclusion would help in strengthening financial stability and lead to poverty alleviation in the country. The event was also attended by federal ministers, diplomats, federal and provincial secretaries, representatives of development agencies, presidents of banks and other dignitaries.

Earlier in the morning, Her Majesty Queen Maxima met Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra to discuss ways and means to enhance financial inclusion in Pakistan. The Governor apprised HM on SBP’s financial inclusion initiatives and shared that SBP was driving the agenda from the front and had made it one of its strategic goals. He thanked HM for personal commitment and pushing forward the agenda of financial inclusion as a means for achieving inclusive development.

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk

State Bank of Pakistan will remain closed on 5th February on occasion of Kashmir Day

Karachi, February 03, 2016 (PPI-OT): The State Bank of Pakistan will remain closed on 5th February, 2016 (Friday) on the occasion of “Kashmir Day” as declared by the Government of […]

Karachi, February 03, 2016 (PPI-OT): The State Bank of Pakistan will remain closed on 5th February, 2016 (Friday) on the occasion of “Kashmir Day” as declared by the Government of Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk

Pakistan liquid foreign reserves reach US$20,502.1 million

Karachi, January 28, 2016 (PPI-OT): State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday announced that the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$20,502.1 million on 22 January […]

Karachi, January 28, 2016 (PPI-OT): State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday announced that the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$20,502.1 million on 22 January 2016. The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as under:

Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan: US$15,646.8 million.

Net foreign reserves held by banks: US$4,855.3 million.

Total liquid foreign reserves: US$20,502.1 million.

During the week ending 22 January 2016, SBP’s Liquid FX Reserves decreased by US$105 million to US$15,647 million, compared to US$15,752 million in the previous week. During the week, SBP made payments of US$109 million on account of external debt servicing.

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk

Conversion rates of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special United States Dollar Bonds and profit thereon January 28, 2016

Karachi, January 28, 2016 (PPI-OT): The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S Dollar Bonds […]

Karachi, January 28, 2016 (PPI-OT): The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S Dollar Bonds and profit thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E-25 deposits) by the State Bank on February 01, 2016.

Currency         Rate in Pak Rupee

U.S. Dollar         104.9387

Japanese Yen          0.8871

Pound Sterling      150.1672

Euro                114.1103

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk

Establishment of Monetary Policy Committee

Karachi, January 26, 2016 (PPI-OT): SBP achieves an important landmark in terms of an independent monetary policy setting. In November 2015, the Parliament legislated amendments in the State Bank of […]

Karachi, January 26, 2016 (PPI-OT): SBP achieves an important landmark in terms of an independent monetary policy setting. In November 2015, the Parliament legislated amendments in the State Bank of Pakistan Act, 1956 establishing an independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) empowered to make monetary policy and its allied decisions. Earlier, there was an Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy with the mandate to make recommendations to the Board, which was entrusted with the powers to make monetary policy decisions.

MPC comprises 9 members including three members of the Board nominated by the Board itself, three external members who shall be economist and appointed by the Federal Government on recommendation of the Board and three senior executives of the Bank nominated by the Governor. The Governor State Bank of Pakistan is the Chairman of the committee.

Pursuant to the establishment of the said committee under section 9D of the Act, members have been nominated for the said committee. The three members of MPC from the Board include Mr. Khawaja Iqbal Hassan, Mr. Muhammad Hidayatullah and, Mr. Zafar Masud.

The Federal Government has appointed Dr. Asad Zaman and Dr. Qazi Masood Ahmed as the external members while the third position remains vacant. The external members of the MPC have been appointed for a period of three years and shall be eligible for reappointment for another term of three years.

The Governor has nominated Mr. Riaz Riazuddin (Deputy Governor Policy), Mr. Saeed Ahmad (Deputy Governor, Financial Markets, IB and SI) and, Mr. Jameel Ahmed (Executive Director, Financial Stability and Banking Supervision Group) as members.

Section 9E of the SBP Amendment Act (2015) defines the powers and functions of MPC as follows:

“The Monetary Policy Committee shall, without prejudice to its powers and functions and those of the Bank, support the general economic policies of the Federal Government and shall –

(a) formulate, support and recommend the monetary policy, including, as appropriate, decisions relating to intermediate monetary objectives, key interest rates and the supply of reserves in Pakistan and may make regulations for their implementation; (b) approve and issue the monetary policy statement and other monetary policy measures; (c) perform any other functions conferred on it by law; and (d) carry out any ancillary activities incidental to the exercise of its functions under this Act.”

The first meeting of the MPC has been scheduled on 30th January, 2016.

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk

Schedule of Monetary Policy Committee meeting

Karachi, January 21, 2016 (PPI-OT): In November 2015, amendments in the SBP Act 1956 were enacted, according to which a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has been constituted with the primary […]

Karachi, January 21, 2016 (PPI-OT): In November 2015, amendments in the SBP Act 1956 were enacted, according to which a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has been constituted with the primary responsibility to decide about the monetary policy of the State Bank of Pakistan. Schedule of the first meeting of MPC will be announced after nomination of its members is completed.

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk