President reprimands HBL over delay in refunding money to bank fraud victim

President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday reprimanded Habib Bank Limited (HBL) for unnecessarily delaying the matter of reimbursement of a trivial amount of Rs 39,000 to the victim of bank fraud.

He directed the bank to reimburse the defrauded amount, along with the payment of transportation charges, within fifteen days to the victim and termed the action of the HBL an act of malpractice and maladministration.

The president reprimanded the HBL for preferring representation before his Office against the order passed by the Banking Ombudsman in favour of the victim of the bank fraud involving a meagre amount.

He observed that the transfer of money from one account to another through cheating was a common incident of fraudulent activity, but despite the knowledge of the account where the money landed and was then withdrawn, no action was taken against the beneficiary of the transaction.

The president emphasized that the bank was liable to make good the loss of their customers and advised the bank management to look into the issue and take remedial measures to safeguard the interest of its customers, especially the small depositors and account holders.

The president directed the State Bank of Pakistan, being a regulatory body, to take earnest action against both the banks and their branches by adopting regulatory and punitive action to redress the fraudulent activities which result from noncompliance with Rules and Regulations issued by the State Bank of Pakistan.

According to the details, an unknown person tricked Nazeer Ahmad Bhutta to provide the last digits of his ATM card and later deprived him of his deposit.

The victim preferred an appeal before the Banking Ombudsman who decided the case in favour of the victim.

However, HBL, instead of implementing the decision, preferred representation to the president.

The president upheld the decision of the Banking Ombudsman and directed the bank to reimburse the defrauded money to the complainant.

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