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Regulator should notify minimum deposit limit

Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said State Bank of Pakistan should notify a uniform minimum deposit limit for all the local and foreign banks to protect the rights of depositors. There should be no minimum deposit condition in these times of economic crunch. However, if it is viewed as necessary, it should be uniform and just, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of PEW.

Different banks have fixed minimum deposit limit ranging from Rs 5000 to Rs 50,000. A leading private bank has increased limit by 100 per cent to Rs 20,000 without any announcement depriving unsuspecting customers of millions of rupees. Some other banks are also planning to increase minimum deposit limit to boost profits, he said. “Banks should stop punishing depositors and State Bank should come up with solid steps to safeguard the interests and savings of masses,” said Dr. Murtaza Mughal.

He said that some foreign banks are adopting novel ways to charge customers having their plastic cards. If the customer keeps his balance sheet clear, he is approached with different ideas to relieve him of some money. The banks simply tell customers that they are not getting anything by issuing a credit card to you. In some cases Rs 800 have been charged for crossing the assigned limit by Rs 2.

The impression that regulator is a silent spectator is adding to frustration, he said. Time has come for central bank to show teeth and muscles. Dr. Mughal said that banks should curtail their expenditures, cut perks of executives to save money. Indulgence in objectionable practices and depriving depositors of their money on one pretext or other will not pay dividends in the end. Interests of banks should not be considered supreme to the interest of accountholders.-PEW

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Mian Ahsan Liaqat

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