Ombudsman (Mohtasib)

About 25 countries have established the institution of Banking Mohtasib (Ombudsman) or similar schemes are in place and each one has contributed to an improved and more efficient banking system. The schemes have invariably had a very positive influence on the system where banks have become increasingly conscious of their responsibilities as service providers and of the need to satisfy and meet customer demands professionally and efficiently.

With the rapid expansion of products and services particularly in the field of Consumer credit over the past few years there is a proportionate increase in the volume of associated complaints from the general public.

Banking Mohtasib Pakistan

Privatization momentum coupled with the process of liberalization in Pakistan has encouraged banks to rapidly expand products and services during the recent past resulting in a manifold increase in the banking population within the country.

However, the increasing volume of associated complaints received at the State Bank of Pakistan and the Government's strong resolve to provide an independent complaints resolution mechanism which is free, impartial and prompt, has resulted in the appointment of the Banking Mohtasib in 2005.

The Banking Mohtasib is not an industry watchdog; it is not a regulator nor is it a policeman. The financial system in Pakistan has undergone major reform and liberalization during the recent past. Banks have adapted to the new and open environment exceptionally well and have responded by upgrading and transforming service delivery capability and by offering a range of new and innovative products to the market.

In this dynamic process, there are bound to be disagreements and differences between banks and consumers and the Mohtasib's role is basically to mediate between the two parties so that an amicable and acceptable solution can be found and generally speaking, complaints minimized over time.

Where resolution is not forthcoming, the issue is analyzed and the concerned bank presented with our findings and recommendations on how best to settle a dispute. In most cases, banks accept the recommendations and the dispute is resolved. However, where the issue is not resolved then an opportunity of Hearing is provided to the parties in terms of Section 82 D of the Banking Companies Ordinance 1962 after which an appropriate formal Order is passed.
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