ISLAMABAD - Deputy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Saeed Ahmad on Tuesday called for a cultural transformation of banks to ensure responsible banking conduct, which he said was a prerequisite for a consistent inclusive growth.

In his opening remarks at a seminar titled, ‘Responsible Banking Conduct’ held here at the National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF), Ahmad said the foundation of financial consumer protection must ideally rest on self regulation whereby banks had it in their conscience a clear concern for nurturing well informed consumers capable of making right and sustainable choices.

He stressed that responsible banking conduct could not be achieved merely by ring-fencing consumer protection within the compliance function.

“Instead, the entire bank – right from the board to the frontline managers – has to be responsive to this objective,” he said, and added, “In order to win the trust of stakeholders, the consumers must not be treated fairly.” Ahmad added that customer empowerment was part of SBP financial inclusion strategy and it would devote adequate resources to implement the strategy.

“However, the banks also need to join us and augment our efforts to promote financial literacy and consumer awareness,” he asserted.

Local and foreign experts also shared their views on responsible banking conduct, its importance, linkages with financial inclusion, financial stability, and good industrial practices.

The seminar was attended by the top management of banks and representatives of other relevant stakeholders like Pakistan Bankers Association, Pakistan Microfinance Network and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. NNI