President of the Nation, Dr. Arif Alvi, has instructed two individuals affected by banking fraud to repay amounts of PKR 1,998,500 and PKR 744,000. United Bank and Bank Alfalah Limited’s separate appeals have been rejected by the President.
The President stated that in order to address individuals involved in banking fraud, the banking regulator State Bank should take action, and necessary SOPs should be issued on banking fraud. Individuals engaging in fraud should not be provided with banking/financial facilities.
United Bank user Qaisar Mahmood received a call similar to the helpline from the bank, urging him to activate his suspended digital banking app. After activating the app, an amount of PKR 2,000,000 was transferred from his account.
Similarly, fake callers contacted Brigadier (Retired) Muhammad Arif Sheikh, requesting banking details under the pretext of resolving technical issues with the account. This led to 9 transactions, withdrawing a total of PKR 994,000 from the user’s account.
Citizens requested reimbursement from their respective banks but were unsuccessful. They contacted the banking regulator, who instructed the banks to return the lost funds to the users. Subsequently, the banks filed separate appeals against the regulator’s decisions.
After personally hearing the cases, listening to the parties involved, and reviewing available records, the President ruled in favor of the complainants. He highlighted the failure of banks in implementing State Bank’s directives to identify fraudulent transactions, leading to financial losses for complainants.
President Alvi mentioned that the banking payment systems and Electronic Funds Transfers Act 2007 Section 41 were not effectively implemented by both banks. Since the banks failed to provide evidence of following State Bank’s directives, they are held responsible for compensating the financial losses of the complainants.
President Alvi directed United Bank and Bank Alfalah to pay Qaisar Mahmood and Brigadier (Retired) Arif Sheikh amounts of PKR 1,998,500 and PKR 744,000, respectively.