SBP asks banks to expedite processing of applications of Mera Ghar housing scheme

Dunya News

The banks and DFIs were further advised to adopt appropriate measures to resolve complaints

KARACHI (Dunya News) – The State Bank of Pakistan, Friday, directed all banks and financial institutes to rationalize processing fee and devise a comprehensive mechanism equipped with online E-tracking system to expedite processing of applications received under PM’s “Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar” housing finance scheme.

“Devise a system to monitor 30 days Turn Around Time (TAT) for decision on applications received,’’ the central bank further directed while taking notice of a number of complaints especially regarding delayed processing, long turnaround time and no mechanism to track the financing application after submission.

SBP’s Infrastructure, Housing and SME Finance Department, through a circular letter to heads of all banks, Development Finance Institutes and Micro Finance Banks, advised to immediately start providing to the applicants a receipt with unique tracking number against each housing finance application.

Meanwhile, put in place within 30 days from the date of the Circular an online e-tracking mechanism and a phone based help line to provide, on query of applicant, status and expected time required for decision on application, the circular reads.

The SBP called for recording and conveying reasons of rejection of housing finance application to the applicant in simple and clear form and to conduct rigorous training of branch officials to enhance their knowledge on Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar scheme and improve their behavior towards customers.

“Equip the branch officials, through training and alignment of systems and procedures, to perform initial scrutiny and inform the customer about missing requirements/documents at the time of submission of application,” the circular elaborated and urged on capacity building of call center officials to adequately address queries of customers.

The banks and DFIs were further advised to adopt appropriate measures to resolve complaints in timely manner as it was observed that complaints lodged on State Bank complaint portal remain pending with banks for unduly long times.

Moreover, banks were directed to review policy for designation of focal person for State Bank complaint portal and ensure that at least one focal person was present in each region to handle the complaints.

The central bank also taken notice of complaints of potential borrowers under PM’s Mera Ghar scheme about exorbitant processing charges and advised banks and DFIs to review and rationalize their processing fee for financing considering their actual costs and provide breakup of these charges to the applicants at the time of receipt of applications.

In order to increase prospects of applicants to avail housing finance under Government Mark-up Subsidy Scheme, the SBP advised banks and DFIs to guide the applicants regarding the options of 100% clubbing of income of up to four co-applicants and enhancing their credit worthiness through third party guarantee as allowed vide IH&SMEFD Circular No. 01 of 2021.