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KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has provided a major facilitation to mentally disordered persons by allowing them to open a bank account through a well-defined account opening process.

In order to address difficulties faced by mentally disordered persons; SBP in consultation with stakeholders has decided to facilitate mentally disordered persons with regard to opening and maintaining a bank account as per the applicable laws related to mental health.

Accordingly, a new category of customer account, ie, 'mentally disordered person account' has been introduced. Now, for the first time in Pakistan, mentally disordered persons will be able to open a bank account under a new category of customers account namely "mentally disordered person account" introduced by the SBP in its AML/CFT/CPF regulations.

State Bank has advised all banks to facilitate the 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. Account opening process will include presentation of valid identity documents and biometric verification through NADRA of mentally disordered person and court appointed manager.

Moreover, bank will verify certified true copy of court order to ensure authenticity of the appointed manager. All CDD requirements should be completed for both persons to meet AML/CFT/CPF Regulations.

It may be recalled that SBP has earlier taken several measures and initiatives in consultation with banking industry for Persons with Disabilities like giving special consideration for their employment and improvement in accessibility infrastructure such as ramps and wheelchair facilities in their branches.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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