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KARACHI: Banking Ombudsman Pakistan Muhammad Kamran Shehzad said that more than forty thousand customer complaints were received this year in which relief of Rs 600 million was provided and it is hoped that relief of up to one billion rupees will be provided by the end of the year.

Speaking at a meeting of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), he said that the institution aims to resolve disputes between banks and customers, in this regard the banking ombudsman takes action on violations of banking and state bank laws. Consumers can register their complaints through the Banking Ombudsman website or in writing for prompt redressal.

Muhammad Kamran Shahzad further said that the banking ombudsman is equivalent to a judge of the high court, while after the decision of the ombudsman can be appealed to the President of Pakistan.

The Banking Ombudsman of Pakistan further said that so far more than 1.5 lakh cases have been decided out of which only 70 or 80 cases have gone to the Supreme Court in appeal. He said that 95 percent of the decisions have been accepted which is commendable.

KATI President Salman Aslam said that the banking sector in the country is developing rapidly, but due to the increase in interest rates by the State Bank and the imposition of taxes on the banking sector by the government, the burden increased on consumers and the business community.

He said that there is a fear that the increase in interest rate will increase the number of defaulters and large industries will face difficulties in repaying the loans.

President KATI said that the banking sector is very important in the economic crisis that the country is going through. Salman Aslam said that the online facility needs to be further improved for the convenience of the users.

Zubair Chhaya, CEO of KITE, said that many companies are likely to go into default due to the recent depreciation of the rupee and record interest rates. Other sectors including pharma will not be able to get the privileges of being an export industry due to which it has become very difficult for them to operate.

He said that due to the high rate of interest in the country, industrialization will decrease, which will increase unemployment.

Zubair Chhaya said that crime will also increase due to unemployment in such a situation the role of the banking ombudsman is very important.

He requested the banking ombudsman to provide detailed information regarding the facilities they are providing for the awareness of the members of KATI. The promotion of Islamic banking in the country is very important, people want to go for Islamic banking but are confused due to the ambiguity in it, which needs to be removed immediately.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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