March 26: In pursuit of its agenda to promote ease of doing business and digitalization, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), in coordination with State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), had launched an exclusive digital portal last month, enabling banks to open corporate accounts without seeking physically certified copies of statutory documents.
Since its launch, 16 banks have registered with the portal, to gain real time access to statutory records of companies. These include Askari Bank, Bank Alfalah, Bank Al-Habib, Finca Microfinance Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), Khushhali Microfinance Bank, NRSP Microfinance Bank, Pair Investment Company, Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company, Sindh Bank, SME Bank Ltd, Soneri Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, Summit Bank, Telenor Microfinance Bank and The Bank of Punjab.
Through this portal, onboarded banks can access and verify company information directly from SECP’s records, considerably reducing the turn-around-time for opening of a corporate bank account or for availing other banking services. The facility will also help banks in carrying out due diligence of their corporate customers. Interested banks can apply to SECP to secure a dashboard access in the portal.
In the first phase, statutory documents of private limited, public limited and companies licensed under section 42 of the Companies Act (not-for-profit objects), have been made available in the portal. The data of foreign companies and limited liability partnerships will soon be linked with the portal. Subsequently, the SECP will discontinue the issuance of certified true copies in physical form.