Launches module pertaining to banking policy, regulations

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The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday achieved a milestone by launching a module pertaining to banking policy and regulations for its Regulatory Approval System (RAS), an initiative for end-toend digitisation of regulatory approval processes.

The launch of the module for RAS will enable banks, development finance institutions (DFIs) and microfinance banks (MFBs) to submit request letters and proposals to the SBP’s Banking Policy and Regulations Department through a dedicated online portal, the central bank said in a statement.

“On the other hand, the SBP will be in a position to disseminate the regulatory decisions to financial institutions through the same portal after digitally processing them,” it said.

Earlier in October 2020, SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir had launched the SBP FX RAS for end-to-end digitisation of submission process for cases related to foreign exchange. The system turned out to be a huge success as it enabled customers to lodge their forex-related requests from the location of their convenience while saving time that was previously spent on navigating the paper-based processes, it said.

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It also enabled banks to submit forex-related cases digitally for regulatory approval of the SBP and SBP-Banking Services Corporation (BSC). “Implementation of RAS for banking policy and regulation-related issues will be effective from November 24, 2021. It will enable banks, DFIs and MFBs to digitally submit requests and obtain regulatory decisions through a single window,” the statement said.

“In addition to online submission, banks, DFIs and MFBs can also submit their cases manually, which will cease after a brief transitory period ending on December 31, 2021.” According to the central bank, RAS is expected to conserve precious resources, contribute to the SBP’s green banking initiative and steer efficiency in communication between the banking sector and SBP.

Moreover, this arrangement will replace paperbased submissions that are prone to logistics and storage issues and also cause inadvertent and unnecessary delays for relevant stakeholders. RAS is a regulatory initiative under the SBP’s Vision 2020 aimed at the digital flow of information among stakeholders to improve service standards by leveraging upon digital techniques.

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