The Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Regulations have been amended by the SBP today. The State Bank of Pakistan has now directed banks not to refuse banking services due to the NTN requirement.
The SBP had gotten many complaints from people that many banks do not facilitate bank account opening due to this. The absence of the National Tax Number (NTN) used mainly by the FBR causes non bank account opening for them.
The NTN is the sales tax registration number and is included in the list of minimum documents required for bank account opening. It is taken from various types of customers under the AML/CT laws. Other documents are also included along as it applies to sole proprietors. The BPRD Circular Letter No 35 of 2016 was issued on 22nd November 2016. It states that now the NTN number is only required wherever applicable. It is in the case of establishing banking relationship between the sole proprietors.
The clarification also states that the NTN requirement depends on the availability or issuance by tax authority. The authority is the Federal Board of Revenue also known as the FBR. Thus, the requirement of NTN should not be the reason for refusal of bank account opening. Instead banks and DFIs should facilitate customers to open bank accounts and obtain the NTN when issued by the FBR.
The directions are amended in the AML/CFT rules which are focused on sole proprietorship facilitation. The State Bank also holds a booklet of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Regulations. This is maintained time to time for user convenience through circulars/ letter issues. Thus, a letter has also been issued to amend the same.