This Client Information Article is meant to be a general guide on opening a bank account in Pakistan for our individual clients and entity clients.The process of each bank many be different but these are the minimum requirements of each bank.

Entity Accounts 

Legal Compliance for Opening bank accounts for governmental and semi-governmental bodies in Pakistan 

Opening bank accounts for governmental and semi-governmental bodies in Pakistan involves a series of specific legal requirements and procedures, ensuring that these accounts are strictly used for official purposes and managed in compliance with the highest standards of fiscal governance.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Accounts for Government/Semi-Government Bodies:

  1. Special Resolution or Authority:
    • Accounts for governmental or semi-governmental entities can only be opened upon the production of a special resolution or an authority document issued by the concerned administrative department. This document must be duly endorsed by the Ministry of Finance or the finance department of the relevant government.
    • This ensures that the account is officially sanctioned and aligns with the Treasury Single Account Rules, which aim to consolidate and optimize the management of government funds.
  2. Gazette or Certified Bylaws:
    • A gazette notification or a certified copy of the bylaws governing the entity is required. This documentation provides a legal basis for the account’s operations and outlines the framework within which the account must be managed.
  3. Notification of Appointment:
    • Official notification of the appointment of the authorized signatories, issued by a senior official than those operating the account, is necessary. This document confirms the legitimacy and current status of the individuals authorized to handle the account, ensuring that all transactions are executed by duly appointed officials.
  4. Identity Verification of Authorized Persons:
    • Valid identity documents of all authorized persons involved in opening and operating the account must be collected and verified. This standard procedure, as outlined in the General Documentation Section for account opening, is critical to establish the identity and official capacity of the individuals managing the account.
  5. KYC Form Compliance:
    • A Know Your Customer (KYC) form specifically designed for government accounts must be completely filled in and signed by the Branch Manager (BM) and Operations Manager (OM). The KYC process is crucial for maintaining accurate records and ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) regulations.

Additional Considerations:

  • Operational Integrity: It is imperative that government accounts are not opened in the personal names of government officials. This stipulation is crucial to prevent misuse of public funds and to maintain clear separation between official and personal financial activities.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Regular reviews and audits should be conducted to ensure ongoing compliance with all regulatory requirements and to verify that the account is being used strictly for its intended official purposes.

This structured approach to opening and managing bank accounts for government and semi-government entities not only adheres to statutory requirements but also upholds principles of transparency and accountability in the management of public funds. It reinforces the integrity of financial transactions conducted by governmental bodies and provides a framework for rigorous oversight.

Legal Compliance for opening bank accounts for executors, administrators, or liquidators in Pakistan

When opening bank accounts for executors, administrators, or liquidators in Pakistan, the process is governed by specific legal requirements designed to ensure that these accounts are opened and operated by duly authorized individuals in accordance with the law. These roles often involve managing or distributing the assets of a deceased person, a bankrupt estate, or a dissolved entity, thereby necessitating stringent compliance measures to prevent misuse and ensure transparency.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Accounts for Executors/Administrators/Liquidators:

  1. Probate or Letter of Administration:
    • A certified copy of the letter of administration or probate is required. This document is crucial as it officially appoints the individual as an executor or administrator, granting them the authority to manage and dispose of the estate according to the deceased’s will or as per statutory requirements in the case of intestacy.
    • Review by Bank’s Legal Advisor: The document should be reviewed by the bank’s legal advisor to confirm its validity and to ensure that it accurately conveys the powers and scope of authority granted to the executor or administrator. This review helps mitigate legal risks and ensures compliance with inheritance laws.
  2. Identity Verification:
    • Copies of valid identity documents for all executors, administrators, or liquidators must be provided. These documents are essential to verify the identities of the individuals involved and ensure that they are legally recognized and authorized to act in their respective capacities.

Additional Considerations:

  • Ongoing Monitoring and Compliance: Accounts held by executors, administrators, or liquidators require continuous monitoring to ensure that all transactions are consistent with the purposes of the estate or liquidation process and comply with relevant legal requirements.
  • Document Updates: Any changes in the status of the executor, administrator, or the estate should be promptly reported to the bank to update the account details and authorities accordingly. This includes any alterations in the scope of authority, the appointment of new executors, or the closure of the estate.

These accounts are of particular sensitivity due to their connection to deceased estates and the management of potentially significant sums intended for distribution to beneficiaries or creditors. Therefore, ensuring that the individuals who manage these accounts do so with the utmost integrity and in strict accordance with legal mandates is paramount.

By adhering to these detailed documentation and verification processes, banks not only comply with legal and regulatory frameworks but also protect the interests of all stakeholders involved, including beneficiaries and creditors of the estates managed by these authorized individuals.

Legal Compliance for opening of bank accounts designated for agent-principal relationships in Pakistan

For the opening of bank accounts designated for agent-principal relationships in Pakistan, the compliance requirements are specifically structured to ensure the verification of authority and legitimacy of both parties involved in such transactions. These requirements are critical in providing a secure and transparent framework for financial activities conducted through agents, which is particularly important given the potential for misuse in absence of stringent controls.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Agent Accounts:

  1. Identity Verification:
    • Copies of valid identity documents for both the agent and the principal are required as outlined in the General Documentation Section. This is the foundational step to establish the legal identity of both parties involved and is crucial for all subsequent verifications and transactions.
  2. Certification of Authority Documents:
    • A certified copy of the ‘Power of Attorney’ or the agency agreement must be provided. This document legally authorizes the agent to act on behalf of the principal, detailing the scope and limits of this authority. Certification ensures that the document is recognized as valid and enforceable under the law.
  3. Entity-Specific Documentation:
    • If the agent or principal is not a natural person (i.e., if either party is a corporate entity, a partnership, a trust, etc.), then the relevant documents and papers required for that particular type of entity must be provided. This includes but is not limited to:
      • For Corporate Entities: Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association, and resolution authorizing the agency.
      • For Partnerships: Partnership agreement and registration documents.
      • For Trusts, NGOs, NPOs, etc.: Registration certificates, by-laws, and resolutions or declarations pertaining to the agency.
      • For Branch or Liaison Offices of Foreign Companies: Permission from relevant authorities and documentation proving the establishment and operational status of the foreign entity within Pakistan.

These documents ensure that the entity is properly constituted and has legally designated the agent to act on its behalf, which is critical for maintaining legal and financial accountability.

Additional Considerations:

  • Verification and Monitoring: Continuous monitoring and verification of transactions made by agents are recommended to ensure compliance with the terms of the Power of Attorney or agency agreement.
  • Compliance Checks: Regular compliance checks should be performed to ensure that the activities of the agent are within the scope of authority granted and adhere to both regulatory requirements and internal policies of the banking institution.

These measures are designed to protect the interests of all parties involved and to ensure that the agent-principal relationships are conducted in a manner that upholds legal and ethical standards. They help mitigate the risks associated with agency arrangements, particularly in financial contexts, ensuring transparency and reducing potential for financial fraud or misuse.

Legal for Compliance for Opening a Bank Account for NGOs, NPOs. Charities and Similar Organizations in Pakistan 

The regulatory framework for opening bank accounts for NGOs, NPOs, Charities, and similar organizations in Pakistan is comprehensive and rigorous, reflecting the need for heightened scrutiny to ensure compliance with financial regulations and to prevent misuse for illicit purposes. The requirements are detailed to verify the legality, operational integrity, and financial transparency of these entities.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Accounts for NGOs, NPOs, Charities, etc.:

  1. Identity Verification:
    • Copies of valid identity documents for all authorized persons and members of the governing body/board of directors/trustees/executive committee are required. This ensures all key individuals involved are properly identified per regulatory standards.
  2. Certification of Corporate Documents:
    • Essential documents include all relevant registration documents, certificate of incorporation, by-laws/rules & regulations, and licenses issued by SECP, where applicable.
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association and specific incorporation forms (Form II for new entities and Form B-29 for existing entities) must be certified.
    • A resolution from the governing body authorizing individuals to operate the account is necessary to confirm internal authorization procedures.
  3. Foreign Funding Compliance:
    • If receiving or intending to receive foreign funding, an attested copy of a valid MOU with the Economic Affairs Division of the Government of Pakistan is required.
    • For entities not receiving foreign funds, a declaration from the governing body about this status is necessary.
  4. Registration and MOU for International Entities:
    • International NGOs/NPOs must provide a valid copy of registration with the Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan, and an attested MOU with the Economic Affairs Division.
  5. Additional Documentation:
    • Documents such as annual accounts, financial statements, or other disclosures are needed to ascertain the activities, sources, and usage of funds, crucial for assessing the risk profile of the entity.
  6. Account Titling and Operation:
    • Accounts must be opened in the name of the NGO/NPO as per its constituent documents to ensure legal consistency.
    • A rigorous screening process must be conducted to ensure that no individual affiliated with the account is connected to any proscribed entities.
  7. Governance and Control Declarations:
    • Declarations regarding ultimate control, purpose, and source of funds from the governing body are essential to understand the operational and financial foundation of the entity.
  8. Regulatory and Compliance Approvals:
    • Consent from the Head of the CDD Department and an AML advisory from the AML Review Unit are required, followed by a legal opinion from the organization’s Legal Division and approval from senior management.
  9. Profiles and Due Diligence:
    • Detailed profiles of all members of the governing body and authorized signatories need to be maintained, including profession, background, source of income, and market reputation.
    • A filled and duly signed Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) form for the entity is crucial.
  10. Verification and Monitoring:
    • A comprehensive visit report confirming the physical existence, genuineness, financial worthiness, market reputation, source, and utilization of funds of the entity is required.
    • Continuous monitoring and immediate reporting of any changes in authorized persons are mandated.

These stringent requirements are designed to ensure that entities engaged in charitable and non-profit activities operate transparently and are accountable for their financial transactions, aligning with both national and international standards aimed at preventing financial abuse and enhancing operational integrity.

Legal Compliance for opening bank accounts for Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) in Pakistan 

Opening bank accounts for Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) in Pakistan is a highly regulated process, specifically tailored to ensure robust oversight of entities engaged in digital and electronic financial transactions. The documentation required for such accounts is designed to ensure compliance with both regulatory standards and specific requirements set by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening EMI Trust Accounts:

  1. Identity Documentation:
    • Copies of valid identity documents for all directors and persons authorized to open and operate the account must be provided. This foundational step ensures proper identification and verification of those who have significant control or operational authority within the EMI.
  2. Corporate Documentation:
    • Certificate of Incorporation: Required for companies incorporated prior to the Companies Act 2017, establishing the legal existence of the EMI.
    • Board Resolution: A resolution from the Board of Directors specifying the individuals authorized to open and operate the account, presented on company letterhead, is necessary for internal governance and operational authorization.
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association: These documents delineate the business’s nature, objectives, and governance framework, essential for understanding the operational and legal structure of the EMI.
    • Form-II/Form-A: A certified copy of the latest corporate registration form that provides updated details about the company’s management and structure.
  3. Shareholder Identification:
    • For individuals or entities holding 25% or more in shareholding, relevant identification documents are required to identify and verify major shareholders, aligning with due diligence and anti-money laundering regulations.
  4. Tax and Regulatory Compliance:
    • NTN Certificate: Although optional, having a National Tax Number certificate for the company confirms tax registration and compliance.
    • Form 29: Required for documenting particulars of directors or officers charged with the management of the company, ensuring current information is on file.
  5. Verification and Due Diligence:
    • Bio Verisys and NADRA Verisys: Biometric and identity verification of authorized persons and all directors through systems like Bio Verisys along with NADRA Verisys, enhancing the security and integrity of the identity verification process.
    • Self-certification Forms – CRS and FATCA: Compliance with international tax information sharing agreements such as the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is essential for entities operating across borders.
  6. SBP Licensing:
    • A valid SBP license specifically for digital or electronic financial institutions is mandatory. This license is a testament to the EMI’s compliance with specific regulatory requirements set forth by the SBP for operating within the financial sector.
    • In cases where an SBP license is pending, an account may be opened based on SBP in-principle approval but shall not be activated until the actual license is provided. This ensures that the EMI is fully compliant before commencing operations.

This comprehensive approach to documentation and verification ensures that EMIs operate within a framework that supports secure, transparent, and compliant financial services. The stringent requirements are designed to protect the integrity of the financial system and ensure that EMIs adhere to both national and international standards.

Legal Compliance for opening bank accounts for trusts, clubs, societies, and associations in Pakistan

When opening bank accounts for trusts, clubs, societies, and associations in Pakistan, comprehensive documentation is required to meet stringent regulatory standards. These standards are designed to ensure transparency, accountability, and compliance with laws concerning financial operations, particularly in the context of anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Accounts for Trusts, Clubs, Societies, and Associations:

  1. Identity Documentation:
    • Valid identity documents are required for all members of the governing body, board of directors, trustees, executive committee, authorized signatories, settlor, protector (if any), and beneficiaries. This is essential to establish the identity and legal status of all parties involved.
  2. Governing Declaration:
    • A declaration from the governing body on ultimate control, purpose, and source of funds must be provided. This declaration is critical for understanding the intent and financial foundation of the entity.
  3. Certified Corporate Documents:
    • Certificate of Registration/Instrument of Trust: This document confirms the legal registration of the entity.
    • By-laws/Rules & Regulations: These documents govern the internal operations and procedures of the entity.
    • Resolution of Governing Body: A resolution authorizing persons to operate the account ensures that all transactions are duly authorized.
  4. Foreign Funding:
    • Entities receiving or intending to receive foreign funding must provide an attested copy of a valid MOU with the Economic Affairs Division of the Government of Pakistan. Those not receiving foreign funding must declare this fact.
  5. For Foreign Registered Entities:
    • A valid copy of registration with the Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan, and an attested MOU with the Economic Affairs Division are necessary.
  6. Additional Documentation:
    • Entities may need to provide annual accounts, financial statements, or other disclosures to ascertain their activities, sources, and utilization of funds, particularly for those involved in charitable work.
  7. Operational and Verification Procedures:
    • Accounts must be opened in the name of the entity as per its constituent documents.
    • A comprehensive screening of all individuals and the entity itself through systems like the Bank’s Screening System must be performed to ensure no association with proscribed elements.
    • Prior approvals from respective regional business heads, the Head of CDD Department, and AML advisories are required for entities involved in charitable activities.
  8. Detailed Profiles and CDD Requirements:
    • Profiles of all members of the Board of Trustees or Governing Body and authorized signatories should include their profession, background, source of income, and market reputation.
    • A filled and duly signed Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) form for the entity and a CDD form for all authorized signatories and governing body members are required.
  9. Trust-Specific Information:
    • For trusts, additional information such as the type of trust (public, private, foreign, national), trust deed, details of the settlor, objects of the trust, trustees, and beneficiaries need to be documented. Identification and verification of the beneficiary are necessary if they are also the beneficial owner.
  10. Site Verification:
    • A comprehensive visit report confirming the physical existence, genuineness, financial worthiness, market reputation, source, and utilization of funds of the entity is also necessary.

These measures ensure that the entities opening accounts operate within legal confines and uphold the integrity required in handling funds, especially those from external sources or engaged in public trust activities.

Legal Compliance for opening of bank accounts in Pakistan for foreign companies that do not maintain a liaison or branch office

The opening of bank accounts in Pakistan for foreign companies that do not maintain a liaison or branch office within the country is governed by a detailed and stringent set of requirements. These measures are designed to ensure compliance with international and local regulations, particularly in the areas of anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Bank Accounts for Foreign Companies (Without Local Offices):

  1. Document Endorsement and Verification:
    • Documents related to the company must be duly attested or endorsed by the Foreign Office or the Pakistan Embassy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan. This ensures that the signatures and documentations are recognized and valid as per Pakistani standards.
    • In the absence of a Pakistan Embassy, verification can be performed via the company registration authority’s website/portal, if available.
    • Alternatively, the services of a third-party “company registration” verification agency can be utilized to verify documentation from the registrar of companies or issuing authority.
    • Documents can also be notarized and supported by a confirmation in writing from the company secretary or equivalent that they are genuine and currently applicable.
  2. Identity Verification:
    • Copies of valid identity documents for all directors, signatories, and senior officials as per the General Documentation Section must be provided. This foundational step is critical for establishing the legal identity of the individuals associated with the company.
  3. Corporate Documentation:
    • A valid copy of the registration/incorporation document or any equivalent document of the company registered outside Pakistan.
    • A valid constitution or other equivalent documents of the respective country must also be provided.
  4. List of Directors / UBOs:
    • This list should be provided on company letterhead or in a prescribed format under relevant laws and regulations, outlining the details of directors and Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs).
  5. Authorization Letter:
    • A letter from the principal office of the foreign entity authorizing specific person(s) to open and operate the account is required. This document specifies the internal mandate for operating the account.
  6. Identification and Verification of UBOs:
    • For natural persons or legal persons holding shares equal to or exceeding 25% in the entity, identification and thorough verification of these individuals are necessary.
  7. Screening Against Sanctions and PEP Lists:
    • Screening should be conducted on the UBOs and the entity through systems like the Bank’s Screening System against all available screening lists. This is to ensure that the entity or its controllers are not involved in any sanctioned or proscribed activities and to identify any politically exposed persons (PEPs).
  8. Verification of Documents for CDD:
    • Rigorous verification of documents and information obtained for Customer Due Diligence (CDD) purposes is mandatory to comply with regulatory standards.
  9. FATCA and CRS Compliance:
    • Compliance with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) requires the submission of respective forms, ensuring adherence to international tax laws.

This extensive documentation and verification process is vital for mitigating potential risks associated with opening accounts for foreign entities and ensuring that these entities engage in transparent and legally compliant financial activities within Pakistan.

Legal Compliance for Opening bank accounts for branch offices or liaison offices of foreign companies in Pakistan

Opening bank accounts for branch offices or liaison offices of foreign companies in Pakistan necessitates adherence to a comprehensive set of documentation requirements. These are specifically designed to ensure that the operations align with local regulatory standards and to facilitate oversight of foreign corporate entities operating within the country.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Bank Accounts for Branch Office or Liaison Office of Foreign Companies:

  1. Identification of Signatories and Senior Officials:
    • Copies of valid identity documents for all the signatories and senior officials involved with the account are required as per the General Documentation Section. This is crucial to verify the identities of those authorized to manage and operate the account, ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.
  2. Permission from the Board of Investment:
    • A copy of the permission letter from the Board of Investment (BOI) is essential. This permission is typically granted as part of the process for foreign entities to establish branch or liaison offices in Pakistan, affirming that the entity is legally recognized and authorized to operate within the country.
  3. Certification of Corporate Documents:
    • Form II: For newly registered branch or liaison offices, certified copies of Form II, detailing particulars of directors and principal officers, must be obtained. This form provides transparency regarding the governance structure of the office.
    • Form III: For existing foreign companies’ branches or liaison offices that have undergone changes in directors or principal officers, certified copies of Form III are required. These documents need to be updated to reflect current managerial structures and are critical for maintaining accurate records of those in control.
  4. List of Directors:
    • A list of directors on company letterhead or in a prescribed format under relevant laws and regulations is needed. This list should be comprehensive, providing full details of the directors to ensure that all statutory requirements are met and to facilitate any required scrutiny under local corporate governance standards.
  5. Authorization Letter from Principal Office:
    • A letter from the principal office of the foreign entity authorizing specific person(s) to open and operate the bank account is necessary. This letter should outline the scope of authority granted to the signatories and is fundamental in defining the operational mandate of the office in Pakistan.
See also  A Legal Guide for INGOs Operating in Pakistan

These documents collectively provide a robust framework for verifying the legal status and operational legitimacy of foreign companies’ branch or liaison offices. This not only helps in safeguarding the financial system but also ensures that the foreign entities are engaging in business practices that comply with Pakistani corporate and financial regulations. Such meticulous documentation requirements are essential for maintaining the integrity of both the national economic framework and the international business operations conducted within Pakistan.

Legal Compliance for Opening bank accounts for joint venture (JV) companies in Pakistan

Opening bank accounts for joint venture (JV) companies in Pakistan requires a set of specific documentation tailored to verify the legal and operational structures of such partnerships. These requirements are designed to ensure transparency, accountability, and compliance with financial and corporate regulations.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening of Joint Venture Companies Accounts:

  1. Joint Venture Agreement:
    • A joint venture agreement, duly signed by all parties involved, is essential. This document serves as the foundational legal basis for the joint venture, outlining the terms of collaboration, the roles and responsibilities of each party, and the objectives of the joint venture. This agreement is crucial for establishing the legal framework within which the JV operates.
  2. Power of Attorney:
    • A power of attorney must be provided in favor of the authorized signatories representing the JV parties. This legal document grants specific individuals the authority to act on behalf of the JV, including in financial transactions and banking operations. It ensures that all actions taken under this authority are legally binding and recognized by the financial institutions.
  3. Authority Letter:
    • An authority letter in favor of the person authorized to operate the account is required. This letter should specify the scope of authority granted to the individual, particularly in terms of handling financial transactions and access to the account. This document further reinforces the internal controls and authorization mechanisms within the JV structure.
  4. Complete Documents of All Parties Forming the Joint Venture:
    • Comprehensive documentation for each entity participating in the JV must be submitted. These documents include valid identity documents, incorporation papers, and any other pertinent documents that validate the legal status and operational legitimacy of the entities involved. This collective documentation is necessary to assess the credibility and reliability of each party within the JV.
  5. NTN Certificate and Online Verification:
    • The National Tax Number (NTN) certificate, along with online verification through the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) website by the branch staff, must be provided. This step is crucial for confirming the tax registration and compliance status of the JV. The branch staff must sign and stamp the verification to certify its authenticity. This not only confirms the JV’s adherence to tax obligations but also integrates financial transparency and accountability into its operations.

These detailed requirements for opening bank accounts for JVs reflect a robust approach to ensure that such enterprises operate within the legal and regulatory frameworks established by Pakistani authorities. They address the complex nature of joint ventures, particularly the need to manage risks associated with multi-party arrangements and ensure that all entities involved are compliant with national regulations.

Legal Compliance for opening bank accounts for Private Limited Companies and Corporations in Pakistan 

Opening bank accounts for private limited companies and corporations in Pakistan involves a structured and meticulous documentation process, adhering to legal standards and regulatory requirements aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability in corporate governance and financial activities.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening of Private Limited Companies/Corporations Accounts:

  1. Identity Verification:
    • Requirement: Copies of valid identity documents for all directors and persons authorized to open and operate the account must be provided. Alternatively, NADRA Verisys can be used for the verification of ID documents, ensuring authenticity.
  2. Corporate Documentation:
    • Certificate of Incorporation: Certified copies are required for companies incorporated prior to the Companies Act 2017. This certificate is a fundamental document establishing the company’s legal existence.
    • Board Resolution: A resolution from the Board of Directors specifying the persons authorized to open and operate the account must be obtained on company letterhead. This is essential for defining the internal authorization within the company’s operational framework.
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association: These documents outline the company’s nature of business and the rules governing its internal management. Certified copies must be obtained unless the company has adopted the standard articles of association (Table/Annexure A).
    • SECP Forms: Certified copies of relevant SECP forms such as Form-A/Form-B for the annual return, Form 29 for particulars of directors, and Incorporation Forms for newly incorporated companies are necessary. These forms provide updated and specific details about the company’s management and operational status.
  3. Certification Validity:
    • The validity of certifications for documents like the Certificate of Incorporation and Memorandum and Articles of Association is contingent upon confirmation by the Company Secretary that the documents are current and any future changes will be notified to the bank.
    • Certifications for Form-A and Form-B remain valid until the expiry of the document (1 year plus a grace period of 60 days).
    • Certification for Form-29 remains valid until any changes are made.
  4. Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs):
    • For individuals or legal entities holding shares of 25% or more in the company, identification and verification of these shareholders are required. This may involve CNICs and NADRA verification or passports for foreign nationals. A declaration of UBO maintained by the company under SECP rules must also be obtained to identify those who ultimately control the company.
  5. Operational and Supplementary Documents:
    • Rubber Stamp: If required by the customer, a rubber stamp with the title of the account and the company’s letterhead should be affixed on the Signature Specimen Card (SSC) and Account Opening Documents (AODs).
    • NTN Certificate: An NTN certificate in the name of the company along with online verification through the FBR website is necessary to confirm the company’s tax registration and compliance.
    • List of Directors: A list of directors, complete with details on the company’s letterhead and signed by the CEO or Company Secretary, must be provided, especially if there are discrepancies with the Form-A/B supported by an updated Form 29.
  6. For Dividend Warrant Accounts:
    • Additional documents such as specimens of the Dividend Warrant with MICR features, Specimen Signature Card containing authorized signatures, and details of the Dividend Warrant Series including commencement and closing dates for payment must be obtained. The series must be uploaded by the leading branch through the relevant module in the Core Banking System.

This comprehensive approach ensures rigorous compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks, safeguarding both the financial institution and the corporate entity’s interests, while facilitating transparent and efficient banking operations.

Legal Compliance of opening bank accounts for Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) in Pakistan

The process of opening bank accounts for Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) in Pakistan is governed by stringent regulatory requirements that ensure both compliance with legal standards and robust verification of the entity and its stakeholders. The documentation required reflects a comprehensive approach to due diligence, tailored to the structure and operational nature of LLPs.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening of Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Accounts:

  1. Identity Verification:
    • Requirement: Copies of valid identity documents for all partners and authorized signatories must be provided, as specified in the General Documentation Section. This initial step ensures the proper identification of those who have significant control or influence over the LLP’s operations.
  2. Certification of Key Documents:
    • Limited Liability Partnership Deed/Agreement: A certified copy of the LLP Deed or Agreement, which outlines the terms of the partnership, rights, and obligations of the partners, must be obtained.
    • LLP-Form-III: For newly incorporated LLPs, a certified copy of LLP-Form-III, which details the partners or designated partners, is required.
    • LLP-Form-V: For already incorporated LLPs undergoing changes in partners or designated partners, a certified copy of LLP-Form-V is necessary.
    • Source of Certification: These documents, particularly when issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), should be obtained as certified copies directly from the SECP Portal, where available. This ensures authenticity and compliance with regulatory frameworks.
  3. Authority Letter:
    • Requirement: An authority letter, signed by all partners, must be submitted. This letter authorizes specific individuals to operate the LLP account and signifies collective agreement and responsibility among the partners. This document is pivotal in establishing the operational governance of the LLP’s banking transactions.
  4. Identification of Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs):
    • Stakeholders Holding Significant Shares: For legal and natural persons holding shares of 25% or above in the entity, thorough identity verification and documentation are required. This includes both direct and indirect ownerships.
    • UBO Declaration: The branch may obtain a declaration of UBO maintained by the company under SECP rules for Limited Companies and LLPs. This declaration helps in identifying those individuals who ultimately own or control the LLP and is crucial for compliance with AML/CFT regulations.

The outlined documentation process for LLP accounts ensures that the banks not only adhere to the legal requirements but also engage in proactive measures to understand the structure and operational integrity of the LLP. This detailed vetting process supports the financial sector in mitigating potential risks associated with business entities and enhances transparency, particularly in identifying the influence and control exercised by significant stakeholders.

Legal Compliance for Opening a Partnership Account in Pakistan 

The process of opening bank accounts for partnership entities in Pakistan is meticulously designed to ensure thorough verification of the entity’s legal standing and the legitimacy of its operations. This approach is crucial for compliance with financial regulations, including Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) measures. The documentation required for partnership accounts reflects a rigorous vetting process, tailored to both registered and unregistered partnerships.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening of Partnership Entity Accounts:

  1. Identity Documents:
    • Requirement: Copies of valid identity documents for all partners and authorized signatories, as detailed in the General Documentation Section, must be provided. This ensures that all individuals associated with the partnership are properly identified, establishing their legal capacity and authorization to engage in financial activities.
  2. Partnership Deed:
    • Requirement: A copy of the partnership deed, duly signed by all partners, must be submitted. The bank officer must verify the original document. This deed outlines the terms of the partnership, the responsibilities of each partner, and is fundamental in understanding the operational framework of the entity.
  3. Registration Certificate:
    • For Registered Partnerships: An attested copy of the registration certificate issued by the Registrar of Firms is required. This document confirms the legal recognition of the partnership.
    • For Unregistered Partnerships: The absence of registration must be clearly indicated on the Account Opening Form (AOF). The differentiation between registered and unregistered partnerships impacts the level of scrutiny and risk assessment conducted by the bank.
  4. Authority Letter:
    • Requirement: An authority letter from all partners, in original, must be submitted, authorizing specific individuals to open and operate the firm’s account. Any changes in the partnership deed or the authorized individuals must be communicated to the bank on the partnership firm’s letterhead in a prescribed format. This ensures that all actions taken on behalf of the partnership are transparent and authorized by all partners.
  5. Rubber Stamp:
    • Optional Requirement: A rubber stamp bearing the title of the account and the partnership’s letterhead may be affixed on the Signature Specimen Card (SSC) and Account Opening Documents (AODs) where the customer’s signature is required. While this is not mandatory, it may be requested by the customer for formal purposes.
  6. Visit Report:
    • For Unregistered Partnerships: A visit report of the partnership’s disclosed business location and operations must be prepared at the time of account opening. This report covers all aspects stipulated in the prescribed format to safeguard the bank’s interests from AML/CFT perspectives.
    • For Registered Partnerships: If the address disclosed in the AOF differs from the registered address or if the partnership is categorized as ‘High Risk’, a visit report is also required. This additional scrutiny helps in further mitigating potential risks associated with the entity.

The detailed requirements set forth for partnership accounts are integral to ensuring that the banking sector remains robust against misuse for illicit purposes while supporting legitimate business activities. Such comprehensive checks are essential for maintaining the integrity of financial transactions and adhering to both national and international compliance standards.

Legal Compliance for opening of bank accounts for autonomous bodies in Pakistan

The opening of bank accounts for autonomous bodies in Pakistan, whether incorporated under an Act of Parliament, the Companies Act 2017, or constituted through a cabinet resolution, necessitates stringent compliance with specific regulatory frameworks to ensure transparency and accountability in their financial operations. Here is a detailed commentary on the required processes:

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Accounts for Autonomous Bodies/Entities:

  1. Approval and Authorization Requirements:
    • For Bodies Incorporated Under Legislation or the Companies Act 2017:
      • Obtain a resolution or approval from their respective board or governing bodies authorizing the opening and operation of the bank account. This resolution is crucial as it confirms that the body has internally agreed upon and sanctioned the banking arrangements in accordance with their established legal framework.
    • For Entities Constituted Through Government Resolution:
      • A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Finance Division or relevant provincial finance departments is required. This certificate must specifically authorize the opening and operation of the bank account, ensuring that there is governmental oversight and approval in line with fiscal governance policies.
  2. Compliance with Governing Laws:
    • It is essential to adhere to any rules, regulations, or procedures prescribed in the governing laws of these entities relating to the opening and maintenance of their bank accounts. This may include specific provisions regarding the handling of funds, audit requirements, and reporting obligations, which are designed to uphold the integrity and accountability of the financial practices of autonomous bodies.
  3. Identity Verification of Authorized Persons:
    • Copies of valid identity documents for all persons authorized to open and operate the account must be provided, as specified in the General Documentation Section. This verification is fundamental to ensure that only duly authorized individuals have control over the account, mitigating the risk of unauthorized access or financial mismanagement.

Additional Legal Considerations:

  • Documentation Retention: All relevant documents, including approvals, resolutions, and identity verifications, should be retained as part of the entity’s banking records. This ensures that there is a traceable and auditable paper trail for all decisions and actions related to the bank account.
  • Ongoing Compliance: Regular reviews should be conducted to ensure that the autonomous body continues to operate its bank account in compliance with the legal requirements and any changes in governance regulations or fiscal policies.
  • Financial Oversight: Mechanisms should be in place to monitor transactions and account activities regularly, ensuring that all financial operations are conducted transparently and in accordance with the law.

By adhering to these detailed and specific requirements, autonomous bodies can ensure that their banking arrangements are legally compliant, secure, and aligned with best practices in financial governance. This not only protects the interests of the entities themselves but also those of the stakeholders they serve.

Legal Compliance for Opening bank accounts for exchange companies and authorized money changers in Pakistan

Opening bank accounts for exchange companies and authorized money changers in Pakistan involves adherence to rigorous regulatory and compliance standards. These standards are designed to ensure the transparency, security, and integrity of financial operations, particularly given the significant risks associated with currency exchange and money transfer services.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Accounts for Exchange Companies / Authorized Money Changers:

  1. Identity Verification:
    • Copies of valid identity documents for all directors and persons authorized to open and operate the account, as per the General Documentation Section, must be provided. This step is fundamental to establishing the legal identity and authority of those involved.
  2. Regulatory Compliance Documentation:
    • License from SBP: A certified copy of the license issued by the State Bank of Pakistan, which authorizes the company to operate as an exchange company.
    • Certificate of Incorporation and Commencement of Business: Certified copies of these documents confirm the legal status and operational readiness of the company.
    • Board Resolution: A certified copy of the resolution from the Board of Directors specifying the authorized persons to operate the account, ensuring internal governance compliance.
  3. Tax Registration and Verification:
    • NTN Certificate: The National Tax Number certificate, along with its online verification through the FBR website by branch staff, is required. This confirms the company’s tax registration and compliance.
  4. Corporate Structure Documentation:
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association: Essential for outlining the company’s structure and internal regulations. If the company has not adopted the standard articles (Table/Annexure A), a certified copy of the applicable documents from the SECP is needed.
    • List of Directors/Form-29: Documents detailing the directors and significant shareholders, ensuring compliance with the Companies Act 2017.
  5. Shareholder Verification:
    • For individuals or legal entities holding shares of 25% or more, identification and NADRA verification of these shareholders are required to manage risk and ensure accountability.
  6. AML/CFT Compliance:
    • Policy Documentation: A copy of the company’s Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism policy must be provided.
    • Operational Controls Description: Detailed descriptions of the company’s ID verification, sanction screening, transaction monitoring, and record-keeping policies and controls are necessary to evaluate compliance with AML/CFT regulations.
  7. Operational Readiness and Oversight:
    • Comprehensive Visit Report: A report confirming the physical existence, genuineness, financial worthiness, market reputation, source, and utilization of funds of the entity.
    • Pre-Approval and Clearances: Prior approval from the respective Regional Business Head and clearance from the Financial Integrity and AML Review Unit are required before the account can be opened.
  8. Documentation and Signature Requirements:
    • Rubber Stamp: If required by the customer, a rubber stamp with the title of the account and the company’s letterhead should be affixed on the SSC/AODs.

These extensive requirements ensure that exchange companies and authorized money changers operate within a framework that supports secure, transparent, and compliant financial services. By adhering to these guidelines, banks help maintain the integrity of the financial system and protect against the risks associated with foreign exchange and remittance services.

Legal Compliance for Opening Bank Accounts for Provident Funds, Gratuity Funds and Pension Funds 

Opening bank accounts for Provident Funds, Gratuity Funds, and Pension Funds associated with companies or corporations established under the Companies Act involves specific documentation and compliance checks to ensure proper management and security of these funds. These accounts typically involve significant assets intended for employee benefits, requiring stringent oversight.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Accounts for Provident/Gratuity/Pension Funds:

  1. Identity Verification of Authorized Persons/Trustees:
    • Copies of valid identity documents for all authorized persons or trustees, as outlined in the General Documentation Section, must be provided. This is crucial for verifying the identities of those who have legal authority to manage and operate the fund.
  2. Authorization Documentation:
    • An Authority Letter or Board Resolution from the governing body of the company or corporation must be obtained. This document should specify who is authorized to open and operate the account based on the relevant constituent documents, thereby ensuring that all actions are duly authorized.
  3. Income Tax Recognition Certificate:
    • This certificate is necessary to confirm the fund’s compliance with tax obligations and its recognition under applicable tax laws. It is particularly important for ensuring that the fund’s operations are in line with statutory tax requirements.
  4. Additional Documentation for Trust-Based Funds:
    • If the provident or gratuity fund is established under a trust structure, additional documentation is required:
      • Certificate of Registration/Instrument of Trust: This certifies the legal establishment of the trust.
      • By-laws/Rules & Regulations: These documents govern the operations and management of the fund.
      • Latest List of Board of Trustees: Ensures current administrative oversight is documented.
      • Declaration from Governing Body: A declaration regarding ultimate control, purpose, and sources of funds must be obtained to understand the governance and financial underpinnings of the fund.
  5. Rubber Stamp:
    • A rubber stamp with the title of the account and the business’s letterhead may be affixed on the Signature Specimen Card (SSC) and Account Opening Documents (AODs) if required by the customer. This is not mandatory but can be requested for formalization and verification purposes.
  6. Legal Review:
    • Obtain a legal opinion from the bank’s Legal Division regarding the legal standing of the fund, its constituent documents, and the compliance of the opening and operational procedures. This review is essential to mitigate legal risks and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Exemption from High-Risk Marking:

  • Given their nature as corporate trust accounts, these funds are typically exempt from high-risk marking. This exemption reflects their structured and regulated nature, lower risk of fraudulent activities, and the purpose of providing employee benefits.

By adhering to these detailed requirements, banks ensure that funds intended for provident, gratuity, and pension purposes are managed securely and in compliance with legal standards. This not only protects the interests of the beneficiaries but also maintains the integrity of the financial system.

Legal Compliance for Opening bank accounts for Defence Housing Authorities (DHA)

Opening bank accounts for Defence Housing Authorities (DHA) or similar authorities involves distinct procedures tailored to their specific governance structures and legal frameworks. The procedures reflect the need for stringent compliance with regulations to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of such significant public or semi-public entities.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Accounts for DHA or Similar Authorities:

  1. Identity Verification:
    • Copies of valid identity documents for all members of the Governing and Executive Bodies, as well as Authorized Signatories of the DHA, must be obtained as per the requirements outlined in the General Documentation Section. This step ensures that all individuals involved in the management and operation of the account are properly identified, adhering to anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) regulations.
  2. Delegation of Power:
    • Acceptance of the delegation of power to the Administrator under sections 7 and 8 of the Pakistan Defense Housing Authority Order, 1980. This legal provision specifically allows for the delegation of certain powers, including financial transactions, to designated administrators.
    • A copy of the CNIC (Computerized National Identity Card) of the Administrator, along with those of other authorized signatories, should be obtained. This documentation is crucial for verifying the identities of those granted explicit authority to operate the account.
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Additional Compliance Considerations:

  • Compliance with Other Requirements: While the delegation of power and identity verification are critical, compliance with additional statutory and regulatory requirements remains mandatory. This may include verifying the source of funds, the purpose of the account, and adherence to ongoing regulatory compliance checks.
  • Legal and Regulatory Review: It may also be advisable to conduct a review of the account opening procedures and the associated documentation through the bank’s legal division to ensure all aspects of the account setup are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations specific to housing authorities like DHA.
  • Account Operation Procedures: Establish clear procedures for the operation of the account, including transaction limits, types of allowable transactions, and oversight mechanisms. This is particularly important for entities like DHA, which handle substantial transactions related to real estate and housing developments.
  • Ongoing Monitoring and Reporting: Regular monitoring of the account for unusual or suspicious activities is essential. This aligns with best practices in financial governance and AML compliance, ensuring that DHA’s accounts are used for their intended purposes and within legal bounds.

These tailored procedures for DHA and similar entities not only facilitate their operational needs but also ensure that their banking practices comply with the highest standards of legal and financial accountability. This protects the interests of all stakeholders involved, including the residents and the broader community these authorities serve.

Legal Compliance for Opening Trade Settlement Accounts (TSA) and Special FCY Exporter’s Accounts (SEA) for various business types

Opening Trade Settlement Accounts (TSA) and Special FCY Exporter’s Accounts (SEA) for various business types requires meticulous adherence to compliance and regulatory protocols to safeguard against Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) risks. These accounts facilitate international trade transactions and foreign currency handling, necessitating rigorous verification processes.

Comprehensive Documentation Requirements for Opening TSA and SEA:

For Sole Proprietor Accounts

  1. Request and Terms & Conditions: Official letterhead request detailing T&Cs related to TSA and SEA, duly signed by the authorized signatories.
  2. KYC Forms: Completely filled and signed by the Branch Manager (BM) and Operations Manager (OM).
  3. CRS Form: Compliance with the Common Reporting Standard for international tax compliance.
  4. Identity Documents: Valid copies of identity documents for the sole proprietor and any mandate holders.
  5. Bio Verisys: Valid Bio Verisys of all persons authorized to open/operate the account to verify identities.
  6. Visit Report: A comprehensive visit report of the business to assess AML/CFT risks, submitted to the Chief Account Officer (CAO) with all documents.
  7. Screening: Bank’s screening of the company name, the sole proprietor, and any additional authorized signatories.
  8. CDDs: Customer Due Diligence forms for any required signatories.

For Partnership Accounts

  1. Authority Letter: From all partners authorizing designated persons to operate the TSA/SEA, reflecting any changes in the partnership deed.
  2. Bio Verisys and Identity Verification: For all partners and authorized signatories.
  3. CRS Form and KYC Forms: Compliance with international reporting standards and bank’s internal KYC policies.
  4. Screening: Bank’s screening of the company name and all partners along with authorized signatories.
  5. CDDs: Required for all authorized signatories.

For Limited Companies/Corporations

  1. Board Resolution: Specifying authorized individuals to open and operate the account, documented on company letterhead.
  2. Bio Verisys and Identity Documents: For all personnel authorized to operate the account.
  3. CRS Form and Screening: Compliance with CRS and Bank’s screening of company name and directors.
  4. KYC Forms and CDDs: Signed by BM and OM, with CDDs as required for all signatories.

For Single Member Companies

  1. Request on Official Letterhead: Including T&Cs related to the account, signed by the authorized signatories.
  2. Bio Verisys and Identity Verification: Ensuring all data matches and is verified through NADRA.
  3. Screening and CRS Compliance: Bank’s screening and adherence to CRS requirements.
  4. KYC Form: Properly filled and signed to ensure compliance with bank policies.

General Compliance Notes:

  • All entities must ensure their documents reflect current legal and regulatory requirements, with updates provided as necessary.
  • Regular reviews and monitoring should be implemented to maintain compliance with AML/CFT regulations, particularly for accounts involved in international transactions and foreign currency dealings.

These structured documentation requirements ensure that TSAs and SEAs are opened and operated under stringent compliance standards, safeguarding the interests of both the financial institutions and their clients involved in global trade.

Legal Compliance for Opening bank accounts for embassies and consulates 

Opening bank accounts for embassies and consulates necessitates a specific set of procedures and documentation to ensure compliance with international diplomatic protocols as well as local banking regulations. The sensitive nature of these accounts requires enhanced due diligence and verification processes to ensure transparency, security, and proper authorization.

Comprehensive Checklist for Opening Accounts for Embassies and Consulates:

  1. Authorization Documents:
    • Power of Attorney or Integral Document: This document should explicitly provide for the opening and operation of a bank account by the embassy or consulate. It must be properly authorized and executed in accordance with international law and diplomatic protocols.
    • Undertaking and Indemnity: In the absence of a Power of Attorney or other integral documents, an undertaking and indemnity in the prescribed format (Annexure – LXV of Account Opening Section) must be obtained, duly signed by the authorized signatories. The requirement for this document may be waived if other documents provide sufficient legal comfort, as advised by the Legal Affairs Division (LAD).
  2. Account Opening Request:
    • This request should be made on official embassy or consulate letterhead and must be duly signed by the Ambassador or Consul General. It should detail the authorized signatories and the mode of operation of the account, ensuring clarity and proper authorization for banking transactions.
  3. Official Identification and Appointment Verification:
    • Letter/Notification of Appointment: Obtain a letter or notification confirming the appointment of the Ambassador or Consul General, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan.
    • Official Identification Cards: Copies of the official cards issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Ambassador, Consul General, and other authorized signatories should be verified with originals seen by the Branch Manager (BM) or Branch Operations Manager (BOM).
  4. Passport Verification:
    • Copies of valid passports for the Ambassador, Consul General, and other authorized signatories must be obtained and verified with originals by bank staff. This is crucial for confirming the identity and nationality of the individuals involved.
  5. Legal and Compliance Reviews:
    • Legal Opinion: A legal opinion from the bank’s Legal Division should be obtained to assess the legal standing and the implications of the account opening documentation.
    • AML Advisory and Senior Management Approval: Given the high-risk nature of embassy and consulate accounts, an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) advisory is required, along with approval from the Chief Compliance Officer and other senior management as necessary.
  6. Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD):
    • EDD procedures must be conducted for these accounts, with prior approval from the respective Business Head or General Manager. This involves a more detailed examination of the account to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

These stringent procedures ensure that the financial activities of embassies and consulates are conducted within a framework of legal compliance and security. By adhering to these guidelines, banks can effectively manage the risks associated with handling accounts for international diplomatic entities, ensuring that these accounts are used appropriately and within the bounds of international and domestic regulations.

Personal Accounts 

Legal Compliance for Opening a RAPID Digital Bank Account in Pakistan

The guidelines for opening a RAPID Digital Account in Pakistan are specifically tailored to accommodate a broad spectrum of individuals, including minors, employed, self-employed, and non-salaried persons. This inclusive framework ensures that the account opening process is both accessible and compliant with legal requirements, facilitating a streamlined digital banking experience.

Documentation Requirements for RAPID Digital Account:

  1. Identity Verification:
    • Adults: A scanned colored copy of the original valid CNIC/SNIC is required to confirm the identity of the prospective account holder.
    • Minors: A scanned copy of the original Juvenile Card, Form-B, or Child Registration Certificate (CRC) is necessary for minors. This ensures that even underage individuals are accurately identified under the guardian’s supervision.
  2. Proof of Profession and Source of Income/Funds:
    • Documents such as scanned copies of job certificates, tax returns, business letterheads, and salary slips are essential. These documents substantiate the claimed profession and the source of funds, crucial for assessing the financial stability and legitimacy of the account holder.
  3. Live Photo of the Customer:
    • A live photo is required to further verify the identity of the customer, aligning with advanced security measures in digital banking to prevent fraud and identity theft.

List of Documents to Assess Profession and Source of Income/Funds:

  • Salaried/Employed Individuals: Acceptable proofs include a valid job/employee card, employer/job certificate, employment contract, employer letter, work permit, retirement letter for retired persons, or a self-declaration for specific digital accounts. For proving the source of income, documents like the latest salary slip, salary certificate, payment records, account statements, tax statements, or evidence of terminal benefits are valid.
  • Self-employed/Non-Salaried/Unemployed Persons: They can provide an account opening request on a business/proprietor letterhead, partnership/business deed, or valid student ID card. Proof of work and income can also be a self-declaration, particularly for digital account holders like freelancers. Other proofs like receipts of payment against work, particulars of income/funds providers, or tax statements are also valid.
  • Miscellaneous/Other Sources of Income: Customers may also provide documentation of income sources such as inheritance, agricultural income, investments in securities, property, rental income, or interest income. These sources need proper documentation to verify their legitimacy and continuity.

This structured documentation process ensures that each RAPID Digital Account is opened with thorough due diligence, aligning with regulatory standards and providing security for both the bank and the customer. The flexibility in documentation for various types of employment and income sources reflects an understanding of the diverse economic activities individuals may engage in, thus accommodating a wider array of customers.

Legal Compliance for Opening a RAPID Digital Bank Account in Pakistan 

The banking compliance requirements for opening a RAPID Digital Account in Pakistan are specifically tailored to accommodate a broad spectrum of individuals, including minors, employed, self-employed, and non-salaried persons. This inclusive framework ensures that the account opening process is both accessible and compliant with legal requirements, facilitating a streamlined digital banking experience.

Documentation Requirements for RAPID Digital Account:

  1. Identity Verification:
    • Adults: A scanned colored copy of the original valid CNIC/SNIC is required to confirm the identity of the prospective account holder.
    • Minors: A scanned copy of the original Juvenile Card, Form-B, or Child Registration Certificate (CRC) is necessary for minors. This ensures that even underage individuals are accurately identified under the guardian’s supervision.
  2. Proof of Profession and Source of Income/Funds:
    • Documents such as scanned copies of job certificates, tax returns, business letterheads, and salary slips are essential. These documents substantiate the claimed profession and the source of funds, crucial for assessing the financial stability and legitimacy of the account holder.
  3. Live Photo of the Customer:
    • A live photo is required to further verify the identity of the customer, aligning with advanced security measures in digital banking to prevent fraud and identity theft.

List of Documents to Assess Profession and Source of Income/Funds:

  • Salaried/Employed Individuals: Acceptable proofs include a valid job/employee card, employer/job certificate, employment contract, employer letter, work permit, retirement letter for retired persons, or a self-declaration for specific digital accounts. For proving the source of income, documents like the latest salary slip, salary certificate, payment records, account statements, tax statements, or evidence of terminal benefits are valid.
  • Self-employed/Non-Salaried/Unemployed Persons: They can provide an account opening request on a business/proprietor letterhead, partnership/business deed, or valid student ID card. Proof of work and income can also be a self-declaration, particularly for digital account holders like freelancers. Other proofs like receipts of payment against work, particulars of income/funds providers, or tax statements are also valid.
  • Miscellaneous/Other Sources of Income: Customers may also provide documentation of income sources such as inheritance, agricultural income, investments in securities, property, rental income, or interest income. These sources need proper documentation to verify their legitimacy and continuity.

This structured documentation process ensures that each RAPID Digital Account is opened with thorough due diligence, aligning with regulatory standards and providing security for both the bank and the customer. The flexibility in documentation for various types of employment and income sources reflects an understanding of the diverse economic activities individuals may engage in, thus accommodating a wider array of customers.

Legal Compliance for opening Roshan Digital Account (RDA)

The Roshan Digital Account (RDA) initiative is a significant facilitator for Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs) looking to maintain banking relationships within Pakistan. This account allows for more straightforward mechanisms of financial involvement in their home country, aligned with stringent compliance measures to ensure authenticity and security.

Documentation Requirements for Roshan Digital Account:

  1. Identity and NRP Status Verification: Applicants must provide original scanned copies of valid NICOP/SNICOP/POC, or CNIC/SNIC, alongside their passport (specifically the first 2 pages and entry/exit stamp pages). This documentation is crucial to establishing the identity of the customer and their non-resident status. For the Asaan Roshan Digital Account, more flexible document requirements such as scanned photocopies of the passport or other documents like an Iqama or contract are permitted to ascertain the NRP status based on the bank’s satisfaction.
  2. Proof of Profession and Source of Income/Funds: Applicants are required to submit proof of their profession and sources of income or funds. This could include scanned copies of a job certificate, tax return, rent agreement, salary slip, etc. Such documentation must clearly outline the nature of employment or income generation, corroborating the customer’s financial sustainability and source credibility.
  3. Live Customer Photo: A live photo of the customer must be taken, serving as a biometric verification to further authenticate the identity of the account holder.
  4. Compliance Forms: Submission of FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) forms and CRS (Common Reporting Standard) forms are mandatory, aligning with international tax compliance regulations. Additionally, a Zakat Exemption Form CZ-50 may be required for those who opt for a PKR savings account and wish to declare zakat exemption.

Detailed Documentation for Proof of Profession and Source of Income:

  • For Salaried Individuals: Acceptable documents include a valid job/employee card, employer/job certificate, employment contract, employer letter, Iqama/Work Permit, or, for retired persons, a copy of the retirement letter or proof of retirement. For substantiating the source of income, documents such as the latest salary slip, salary certificate, payment records, account statements, tax statements, or evidence of terminal benefits/pension are valid.
  • For Self-employed/Non-Salaried/Unemployed Persons: Proof of business or self-employment might include a business registration document, business/proprietor letterhead, partnership/business deed, or other relevant proof like an Iqama or work permit. Source of income can be evidenced through receipts of payment, account statements, particulars of income providers, or tax statements.
  • Miscellaneous Sources of Income: Other acceptable sources include inheritance, agricultural income, investments in securities, bonds, shares, properties, or interest income. These sources must be appropriately documented to demonstrate their legitimacy and the continuity of income they provide.

This comprehensive framework not only ensures the integrity and security of the financial transactions conducted through Roshan Digital Accounts but also aligns with international standards for preventing financial crimes. It provides NRPs a secure and efficient means of engaging with financial services in Pakistan, contributing to economic flows into the country while ensuring compliance with both national and international regulations.

Legal Compliance for opening bank accounts for mentally disordered persons in Pakistan

In the context of opening bank accounts for mentally disordered persons in Pakistan, the legal framework is specifically designed to ensure that these accounts are managed appropriately while safeguarding the interests of the account holders. The regulations cater to the unique needs of individuals whose mental capacity to manage their financial affairs independently is compromised.

  1. Identity Verification: A valid copy of the identity documents for both the mentally disordered person and the court-appointed manager is required as per the General Documentation section. This ensures that both parties involved in the management of the account are properly identified in line with regulatory requirements.
  2. Biometric Verification: The identity documents of both the mentally disordered person and the court-appointed manager must be verified through biometric verification from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). This step adds an additional layer of security and accuracy in confirming the identities of the individuals involved.
  3. Court Order Verification: A certified true copy of the court order appointing the manager for the mentally disordered person is necessary. The bank must then verify this court order with the concerned court to ensure its authenticity and validity. This verification is critical as it confirms the legal authority of the manager to handle the account on behalf of the mentally disordered person.
  4. KYC Forms and Signatures: The Know Your Customer (KYC) forms must be completed and include the signatures of the Branch Manager (BM) or Operations Manager (OM). These forms are essential for documenting the relationship and the roles of both the mentally disordered person and the court-appointed manager, ensuring that Customer Due Diligence (CDD) measures are appropriately applied.
  5. CDD for Both Parties: CDD measures must be performed for both the mentally disordered person and the court-appointed manager. These measures are crucial for understanding the financial backgrounds and assessing any potential risks associated with the account.
  6. Change of Manager: Should there be a change in the court-appointed manager, the bank is required to conduct CDD formalities afresh for the newly appointed manager. This ensures that all necessary checks are updated and relevant to maintain the integrity of the account management.
  7. Marking of SSC Card: The Signature Specimen Card (SSC) used for the account must be clearly marked with “Mentally Disordered Person.” This marking is vital for alerting bank staff and ensuring that all interactions and transactions are handled with the appropriate level of care and understanding of the account holder’s special circumstances.

This comprehensive and careful approach to opening and managing bank accounts for mentally disordered persons demonstrates a commitment to protective measures and compliance with legal standards, ensuring that the rights and interests of some of the most vulnerable individuals in society are effectively safeguarded.

Legal Compliance for opening Bank Accounts for Blind Persons in Pakistan

When addressing the specific needs of blind or visually impaired individuals wishing to open bank accounts in Pakistan, the regulatory framework and institutional practices are carefully tailored to accommodate these customers while ensuring compliance with legal standards and safeguarding their interests.

  1. Opening Procedures for Visually Impaired/Blind Persons: Visually impaired or blind persons are entitled to open either individual or joint accounts with the same formalities required for a normal checking account. This inclusivity ensures that the disability does not impede their access to banking services.
  2. Account Identification: All accounts opened by visually impaired or blind customers must be clearly marked as “Visually impaired/Blind Person Account”. This designation helps the bank provide appropriate services and accommodations tailored to the needs of these customers.
  3. Presence During Account Opening: It is mandatory for visually impaired or blind individuals, whether literate or illiterate, to be physically present during the account opening process. Illiterate customers must provide left and right thumb impressions in the presence of a bank officer. Conversely, literate blind or visually impaired persons may sign documents instead of using thumb impressions, provided the conditions allow.
  4. Joint Accounts: The opening of joint accounts that include visually impaired or blind persons is permitted. These accounts are subject to the minimum documentation requirements applicable under relevant regulations, ensuring that all legal standards are met.
  5. Operational Conditions and Safeguards: For illiterate visually impaired or blind persons, the bank must verbally inform them that the operation of the bank account must be conducted in the presence of a witness. However, the bank explicitly states that it will not be responsible for any losses or claims that arise from transactions witnessed in this manner.
  6. Undertaking for Literate Visually Impaired/Blind Persons: If the visually impaired or blind person is literate, the requirement for the presence of a witness during account operations can be waived if a duly witnessed undertaking is provided. This undertaking must be executed on stamp paper of appropriate value as specified by the Provincial Stamp Act.
  7. Appointment of Power of Attorney or Mandate Holder: Visually impaired or blind customers may appoint a person or persons as Power of Attorney or Mandate Holder to operate their bank accounts. Such appointments must be witnessed by a person known to the visually impaired individual in the presence of the Branch Manager (BM) or Operations Manager (OM).
  8. Formalities for Accounts of Illiterate Visually Impaired/Blind Persons: Accounts for illiterate visually impaired or blind persons may be opened with the same formalities required for photo accounts. This includes obtaining impressions of both thumbs on the Account Opening Form (AOF), the Signature Specimen Card (SSC), and legal indemnity documents.
  9. Photographic Documentation and Witnessing: Three photographs are required for each account opening document (SSC and AOF), with partial signatures of a bank officer and a bank stamp. Thumb impressions must be taken on the SS Card and on the reverse of the passport-size photograph of the applicant. These marks must be witnessed by two individuals who may be persons of good standing or bank employees (OM & BM). Witnesses must also attest on the reverse of the applicant’s photograph and append their signatures below the thumb impression and mark.

This comprehensive approach not only aligns with the legal requirements but also demonstrates a commitment to accessibility and inclusivity, ensuring that visually impaired or blind customers receive equitable banking services.

Legal Compliance for opening bank accounts for pensioners in Pakistan

The process of opening bank accounts for pensioners in Pakistan is governed by a specific set of requirements designed to ensure that these accounts are used appropriately and comply with both national regulatory standards and the specific needs of retired individuals receiving pension benefits.

  1. Identity Verification: The initial step in the account opening process for pensioners requires a valid copy of identity documents as outlined in the General Documentation Section. This step is critical in establishing the legal identity of the pensioner and serves as a foundational check prior to further verification and documentation.
  2. Clarification of Account Purpose in KYC: The Know Your Customer (KYC) form must explicitly state that the purpose of the bank account is to receive pension payments. This specification is crucial as it aligns the account’s operations with its intended use and facilitates appropriate monitoring and service provision by the bank.
  3. Option Form for Direct Pension Disbursement: Pensioners are required to submit an option form that indicates their preference for direct pension disbursement. This form must be duly approved by the Branch Manager (BM) or Operations Manager (OM) to ensure that the pensioner’s instructions regarding the pension payment are clear and formally recognized by the bank.
  4. Proof of Pension Eligibility: Substantive proof of pension eligibility must be provided. This can be a copy of the pension book, a copy of the retirement letter, or any other acceptable document that details the pension amount payable. This documentation is essential for verifying the pensioner’s claim to the benefits and for determining the amount to be disbursed.
  5. Pension Payment Order (PPO) / Option Form A: The pensioner must also provide a copy of the Pension Payment Order (PPO) or Option Form A. These documents are critical as they officially document the pensioner’s entitlement to pension benefits and the terms of payment.
  6. Non-Marriage Certificate Requirement: In cases where the pension account is a family pension (awarded to a widow, widower, unmarried daughter, or sister), a Non-Marriage Certificate is required. This document serves to confirm the claimant’s current marital status as a condition of eligibility for receiving family pension benefits.
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It is also important to note that accounts opened by pensioners for the purpose of receiving their pension must not be joint accounts. This stipulation is intended to ensure that the pension benefits are managed and accessed solely by the entitled pensioner, which minimises the risk of mismanagement or misappropriation of the funds.

These tailored requirements for pensioners’ bank accounts reflect a careful balance between regulatory compliance and the practical needs of pensioners, ensuring that they can securely receive and manage their pension benefits through the banking system.

Legal Compliance for Opening bank accounts for landlords, agriculturalists, and Non-Resident Pakistani (NRP) customers

In the context of opening bank accounts for landlords, agriculturalists, and Non-Resident Pakistani (NRP) customers, the legal compliance requirements are specifically tailored to validate the legitimacy of their sources of income and the integrity of their financial dealings. This is vital for ensuring that the banking system is not exploited for unlawful activities such as money laundering or terrorist financing.

  1. Identity Verification: Initially, all customers, including landlords, agriculturalists, and NRPs, must provide a valid copy of identity documents as specified in the General Documentation Section. This foundational step is critical for establishing the legal identity of the account holders and serves as a preliminary check before more detailed verifications are carried out.
  2. Self-declaration of Source and Ownership of Funds: Customers must submit a self-declaration detailing their source and beneficial ownership of the funds. This declaration must be scrutinised and duly approved by the Operations Manager (OM) or Branch Manager (BM). This approval is crucial as it ensures that the bank has conducted due diligence and is satisfied with the legitimacy of the stated sources of funds.
  3. Verification of Land Holdings (Landlords/Agriculturalists): For landlords and agriculturalists, it is imperative to obtain verifiable proof of land holdings. Acceptable documents can include passbooks, land revenue receipts, property documents, or any other credible evidence that substantiates land ownership. This documentation must be verified in its original form to ensure its authenticity. The provision of such documentation helps to corroborate the customer’s claims about their source of income derived from land or agricultural activities.
  4. Documentation for NRP Customers: For NRP customers, a plain paper undertaking is required in which they declare the sources and beneficial ownership of their funds. Additionally, they must provide proof of residence in the form of a valid visa for the country in which they are residing. This ensures that the bank has a comprehensive understanding of the NRP’s residential and financial status, aiding in the assessment of any potential risks associated with cross-border banking transactions.

These meticulous documentation requirements are designed not only to comply with national and international regulatory standards but also to safeguard the banking sector from potential abuses. By ensuring that detailed, verifiable information is obtained and validated, banks can maintain the integrity of their operations while providing secure financial services to diverse customer segments, including those with complex financial backgrounds such as landlords, agriculturalists, and NRPs.

Bank Account Opening in Pakistan For housewives, households, widows, the unemployed, and students

For the categories of account holders such as housewives, households, widows, the unemployed, and students, the legal compliance for opening a bank account in Pakistan is specifically designed to address the unique circumstances surrounding their financial activities and sources of funds. The primary objective here is to ensure that these accounts are not misused for money laundering or terrorist financing, given that these individuals may not have a direct source of income.

  1. Identity Verification: Initially, a valid copy of identity documents for both the customer and the fund provider, as detailed in the General Documentation Section, is required. This step ensures proper identification and serves as a basis for further scrutiny and compliance checks.
  2. Self-declaration of Funds: The account holder must provide a self-declaration regarding the source and beneficial ownership of the funds. This declaration must be approved by the Branch Manager (BM) or Operations Manager (OM). This approval is critical as it verifies that the bank has performed due diligence in understanding the origin of the funds and the nature of the account holder’s financial management.
  3. Verification of Fund Provider’s Source of Income: It is essential to document and verify the source of income or funds of the provider. This documentation is particularly important for these categories of account holders as it substantiates the legitimacy of the funds being deposited or used in the bank account.
  4. Screening Against Sanctions Lists: The names and CNIC numbers of both the customer and their fund provider must be screened through systems like the Bank’s Screening System against all available national and international screening lists. This is to ensure that neither the account holder nor the fund provider is involved in any sanctioned, designated, or proscribed activities. The results of these screenings, typically in the form of printouts, must be attached to the Account Opening Documents (AODs).

This framework of requirements is not merely procedural but is deeply embedded in the broader context of financial security measures mandated by both national regulations and international guidelines. By adhering to these protocols, banks can effectively mitigate potential risks associated with these types of accounts while ensuring that their services remain accessible to all segments of the population.

The implementation of these measures ensures that the banking sector in Pakistan remains robust, transparent, and resistant to the infiltration of illicit funds, thereby contributing to the overall integrity and stability of the financial system.

Bank Account Opening for Business Individuals/ Self Employed Persons, Small businesses and professionals including Freelance professionals

In the context of legal compliance for opening bank accounts for business individuals, self-employed persons, small businesses, and professionals, including freelance professionals, a nuanced and detailed approach is necessitated. This approach is dictated by both regulatory requirements and practical considerations aimed at ensuring robust anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) safeguards.

Initially, all such account applicants must provide a valid copy of identity documents as outlined in the General Documentation Section. This foundational requirement serves to establish the identity of the customer in compliance with legal standards.

Additionally, one of the following documents must be submitted, depending on the nature and legal status of the business or professional activity:

  • Registration Certificate: Required for registered concerns to verify the legal recognition of the business.
  • Sales Tax Registration or NTN Certificate: These are required where applicable to ensure the business is compliant with national tax obligations.
  • Certificate or Proof of Membership of Trade Bodies: This document, where applicable, supports the credibility and regulatory compliance of the business.
  • Proof of Source of Funds/Income: This can vary widely based on the nature of the business or professional activity. Acceptable documents include:
    • An undertaking on the proper business letterhead, or a self-declaration of customer for source and beneficial ownership of funds duly approved by the Branch Manager (BM) or Operations Manager (OM), especially when a business letterhead is not available.
    • Receipts of payment against the work completed.
    • For freelancers, evidence such as online registration or account details from relevant websites or portals, statements of accounts, or any other acceptable proofs demonstrating the source of income.
    • For partners in a registered partnership, the partnership deed and the registration certificate of the concerned register with any updates or amendments.
    • For directors of public and private limited companies who are also shareholders, a disclosure from the company secretary may suffice.

The visit report of the customer’s disclosed business is another pivotal document. It should comprehensively cover all aspects stipulated in the prescribed format to adequately assess the business operations and its adherence to AML/CFT regulations as per the directives of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). This report must be original and signed, and is typically forwarded along with the set of documents to the Chief Account Officer (CAO) for the final approval of the account opening. Notably, an exception is made for IT freelancers, reflecting the unique operational nature and risk profile associated with this category.

These meticulously defined requirements underscore the banking sector’s commitment to maintaining rigorous standards of due diligence and operational integrity, thereby safeguarding the financial system and promoting a transparent and compliant business environment in

Bank Account Opening for Natural Persons including Overseas Pakistanis

In assessing the regulatory framework surrounding the opening of bank accounts in Pakistan, it is imperative to acknowledge the rigorous documentation requirements mandated for natural persons. These prerequisites are fundamental in ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) regulations, crucial for maintaining the integrity of the financial system.

The initial step involves the submission of a valid, attested copy of an identity document. This can include a range of documents issued by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), such as the CNIC, NICOP, SNIC, SNICOP, POC, ARC, POR, Juvenile Card, or Form B. For foreign nationals, a passport accompanied by a valid visa or proof of legal stay is required. It is noteworthy that the Alien Registration Card (ARC) is exclusively applicable to local currency accounts, reflecting a tailored approach to different categories of account holders.

Particularly for non-resident Pakistanis, excluding those with Roshan Digital Accounts, comprehensive documentation including a valid passport, exit stamp, and resident permit or visa must be presented. This extends to joint accounts, where each holder must independently satisfy the documentary requirements, which encapsulates an approach ensuring individual accountability.

In cases where the provided ID documents have expired, the bank allows for a provisional account opening. This is contingent upon the presentation of a NADRA receipt or token indicating renewal application, the expired ID document itself, and an undertaking by the customer to provide the renewed document within a specified timeframe, typically three months. This pragmatism accommodates customers while maintaining regulatory oversight.

Furthermore, the procedural integrity of the account opening process is underscored by the necessity for a signature specimen card, a Verisys report or Bio Verisys to verify the credentials provided, and, where applicable, a signature acceptance undertaking to reconcile any discrepancies between the signature on the identity document and those on bank forms.

The ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) protocol is rigorously enforced, especially in the scrutiny of high-risk customer segments such as politically exposed persons (PEPs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profit organizations (NPOs), charities, and designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs). For such entities, Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) is mandated, and approval from a competent authority as per the bank’s compliance manual must be secured and documented.

These detailed requirements not only align with the AML/CFT policies but also serve as a robust framework to mitigate the risks associated with illicit financial activities, thereby reinforcing the security of the banking sector in Pakistan.

NTNs and CNICs

The regulatory environment governing the opening of bank accounts in Pakistan necessitates comprehensive customer screening to prevent illicit financial activities and ensure adherence to international compliance standards. This process is meticulously designed to identify and mitigate risks associated with sanction evasion, involvement of proscribed elements, and politically exposed persons (PEPs).

Under the stipulated guidelines, a Bank’s Screening System plays a pivotal role in conducting these checks. It is imperative that all pertinent details, such as the names and CNIC numbers of individuals, entities, and ultimate beneficial owners, be screened against all available domestic and international lists. This includes those individuals who directly or indirectly hold significant influence or control over legal entities, specifically noting those holding shares of 25% or more. Additionally, authorized signatories are also subjected to this rigorous screening process.

For foreign nationals, the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Department must review and approve the screening results prior to account opening. This step is critical in ensuring that the financial system is not exploited for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing.

Moreover, the National Tax Number (NTN) is a crucial element in the verification process. The requirement for an NTN applies specifically to legal persons and arrangements, underscoring the need for a systematic approach to fiscal transparency. The NTN, which is issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), must be verified online, and the printout of this verification is attached to the Account Opening Documents (AODs). The bank officer responsible for this verification must sign and stamp this document, ensuring its authenticity.

It is important to note that the absence of an NTN should not automatically preclude the opening of a bank account, particularly in cases where having a bank account is a prerequisite for obtaining an NTN. This provision ensures that individuals and entities are not unduly hindered in their economic activities due to bureaucratic delays or systemic inefficiencies.

In conclusion, the stringent measures implemented through the Bank’s Screening System and the requirements for NTN verification are integral to the robust regulatory framework established to safeguard the integrity of Pakistan’s banking sector. These processes are essential not only for compliance with national laws but also for meeting international standards in combating financial crimes.

Key Fact Statements (KFS) 

In the context of regulatory compliance for opening bank accounts in Pakistan, the provision of the Key Fact Statement (KFS) is pivotal. This document must be duly signed by the prospective account holder to ensure transparency and full disclosure of the terms of service and account operation guidelines. The KFS serves as a critical tool in safeguarding consumer rights by providing clear, accessible information regarding the banking services to be availed.

For salaried individuals, the documentation process is tailored to verify the legitimacy and stability of their employment, which inherently mitigates the risk of fraudulent account activity. The documents permissible for substantiating employment status include:

  • A valid employee or job card,
  • An employer or job certificate or letter, which must be recent (not more than three months old) to ensure its relevancy and reliability,
  • A latest salary slip, which, if computer-generated, must be supplemented by a covering email from the employer or attestation by the employer’s HR department,
  • A salary certificate, or
  • An account statement that reflects salary credits, alongside confirmation from the bank that such deposits are from the stated employer.

For retired individuals, a copy of the retirement letter or proof of retirement serves to verify their source of income, thereby aligning with the bank’s due diligence requirements.

Furthermore, each piece of evidence must bear the original seen stamp of the Branch Manager (BM) or Operations Manager (OM), including the branch name duly signed. This stamp acts as a procedural checkpoint, confirming that the documentation has been directly verified by the bank’s representatives.

For non-resident Pakistani customers, specific documentation such as the Iqama or other appropriate salary evidence issued by the employer or competent authorities (such as government, labor, or manpower ministries) is required. This ensures that the employment and income claims of overseas Pakistanis are substantiated, catering to the unique circumstances of expatriates while maintaining stringent compliance standards.

These meticulously outlined requirements not only comply with national banking regulations but also align with international standards aimed at promoting financial transparency and preventing the misuse of banking services for illicit activities.

Bank Account Opening for Sole Proprietorship in Pakistan 

The process of opening a bank account for a sole proprietorship in Pakistan entails a series of specific documentation requirements, each designed to substantiate the business’s legitimacy and operational status. This is critical both for compliance with national regulations and for safeguarding against anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) risks.

Initially, the prospective account holder must submit a formal request on the business’s letterhead. This is complemented by a proprietorship declaration, also on the business letterhead and formatted as prescribed by the bank. These documents serve as the foundational proof of the business’s intent and self-identification, establishing the groundwork for further verification.

For sole proprietorships that are registered, a registration certificate is required. This validates the legal existence of the business within the regulatory framework. Additionally, if the proprietorship is engaged in activities subject to sales tax, or if the proprietor possesses a National Tax Number (NTN), evidence of such registrations must be provided. This includes an online verification of the NTN through the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) website, which must be authenticated by the branch staff with a signature and stamp to confirm its validity.

Furthermore, where applicable, certificates or proof of membership in trade bodies can be submitted. These affiliations not only enhance the credibility of the business but also assist in networking and regulatory compliance.

It is important to note that while the NTN or sales tax registration is not mandatory for the opening of the account, it is crucial for the operation of the business, particularly concerning appropriate tax withholdings and compliance with fiscal policies.

Additionally, a visit report of the business premises is required. This report should cover all aspects stipulated in the prescribed format, effectively providing a comprehensive overview of the business operations and its compliance with AML/CFT regulations. This report is a critical document that must be signed originally and is forwarded to the Chief Account Officer (CAO) for the final approval of the account opening, ensuring that all facets of the business have been transparently and thoroughly evaluated.

Lastly, the use of a rubber stamp that corresponds with the title of the account and the letterhead is specified. This stamp is applied to the Signature Specimen Card (SSC) and Account Opening Documents (AODs) where the customer’s signature is affixed. Although the use of this stamp by the customer is discretionary and not a mandatory requirement, it adds an additional layer of formal verification and authenticity to the documents provided.

These detailed procedures underscore the banking sector’s commitment to maintaining rigorous standards of due diligence and operational integrity, thereby safeguarding the financial system and promoting a transparent business environment in Pakistan.

Additional Documents 

Additional documents are specified below based on the nature of the account, which is crucial for catering to the specific regulatory requirements and risks associated with different types of account holders.

For Resident Foreign Currency Value Accounts:

  1. Affidavit for Declaration of Assets Held Abroad: Account holders are required to submit an affidavit in a prescribed format declaring their assets held abroad. This document is essential for compliance with international financial reporting and tax obligations.
  2. Wealth Statement from FBR: Alternatively, a wealth statement declared in the latest tax return filed with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that shows the individual’s foreign assets can be provided. This statement serves to verify the legitimacy of the sources and the extent of the foreign assets held by the account holder.

For Accounts of Arms and Ammunition Dealers:

  1. Valid Arms Dealership License: Individuals and entities dealing in arms and ammunition must provide a valid dealership license. This license must be issued by the provincial home department if the dealer is located within a province, or by the Ministry of Interior if located in the Islamabad Capital Territory. This licensing is critical for ensuring that the dealership operates within the legal boundaries set for arms trading.

For Minor Accounts:

  1. Valid Identity Documents for Guardian and Minor: Identity verification as per the General Documentation Section is mandatory for both the guardian and the minor.
  2. Certified Copy of Court Order or Natural Guardian Documentation: If the guardian is appointed by the court, a certified copy of the court order is required. If the guardian is a natural guardian (e.g., a parent), documentation such as Form B or a birth certificate verifying the relationship must be obtained.
  3. Recording of Dates: The date of birth and the date of majority (18 years for natural guardians and 21 years for court-appointed guardians) of the minor must be recorded on the Account Opening Form (AOF) and Signature Specimen Card (SSC).
  4. Account Titling and Flagging: The account must be explicitly titled as a “Minor account” on all relevant documents and flagged as such in the banking system to ensure appropriate handling and legal compliance.

For Illiterate Accounts/Shaky/Immature Signatures:

  1. Undertaking for Illiterate/Shaky/Immature Signatures: An undertaking in a prescribed format must be provided by such account holders.
  2. Photographic and Thumb Impression Requirements: Two photographs of the account holder are required (one each on the SSC and AOF), along with the account holder’s right and left thumb impressions. These impressions must be accompanied by partial signatures of the officer and a bank stamp. This ensures that the identity of the account holder can be verified even in the absence of a standard signature.
  3. Presence and Impression Verification: Documents such as the AOF, SSC, and all related documents must be stamped to confirm that the thumb impressions (RTI and LTI) were affixed in the presence of a bank officer, clearly identifying each impression with the respective thumb.

These specific documentation requirements reflect a nuanced understanding of the diverse types of bank accounts and the unique risks and regulatory obligations associated with each. By adhering to these guidelines, banks ensure they remain compliant with legal standards while safeguarding the interests of both the institution and its clients.

By The Josh and Mak Team

Josh and Mak International is a distinguished law firm with a rich legacy that sets us apart in the legal profession. With years of experience and expertise, we have earned a reputation as a trusted and reputable name in the field. Our firm is built on the pillars of professionalism, integrity, and an unwavering commitment to providing excellent legal services. We have a profound understanding of the law and its complexities, enabling us to deliver tailored legal solutions to meet the unique needs of each client. As a virtual law firm, we offer affordable, high-quality legal advice delivered with the same dedication and work ethic as traditional firms. Choose Josh and Mak International as your legal partner and gain an unfair strategic advantage over your competitors.

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