Askari Bank leads clients into debt trap


LAHORE – The management of Askari Bank despite promising the provision of settlement letters to customers has done little in this regard and customers are apparently in a bind over the bank’s actions. The matter has dragged on for a year and there seems to be no end in sight. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has advised the aggrieved clients of Askari Bank to lodge complaints with the Consumer Protection Department and to take up the matter with the Banking Mohtasib.
Apparently, consumers contact the collection department, but to no avail. According to sources, Askari Bank in April 2010 asked defaulters of credit cards and other types of loans to settle their debts. “Like other banks, the management of Askari Bank offered defaulters to settle their accounts on attractive offers,” said an official of the bank, adding that a large number of defaulters availed the option and showed their willingness to clearing their credit card loans as well as others.
The bank management asked the clients to deposit a minimum amount till their settlement letters are not issued. “Hundreds of customers deposited the minimum amount and every month, Askari Bank officials ask the customers to maintain the practice,” said a customer, Naeem Khan who was apparently deceived by the Askari Bank. He said every month, Askari Bank official called him and said that the letter of settlement is ready and it would be delivered as soon as the minimum payment is made.
“I owed Rs 43,000 to Askari Bank, when an official of the bank, Imran Qaiser, in April 2010 offered to settle the matter at Rs 32,000. I availed the option and deposited the minimum amount and the bank officer said the letter would be delivered within a couple of months,” Khan said, adding that the bank official every month says the letter is ready.
“The bank official kept on promising, until January 2011 when I refused to pay till I received the letter,” he said, adding that when he contacted the bank official, he was informed that his loan amount has risen to Rs 58,000 and should be paid or else he would be declared defaulter. “In the last ten months, I have paid around Rs 21,000 but my loan increased instead of decreasing,” he lamented.
Another customer indicated that Askari Bank officials often adopt an intimidating stance. When contacted, Collection Manager Imran Qaiser, he said the top management of Askari Bank had rejected the settlement letters. “The rejection by senior officials has put us in a bind,” he admitted. Another manager, Agha Amir said the customers often quarrel with us, but said that staff is not in a position to address their concerns.
The customers allege that Askari Bank senior management is profiting on the basis of false claims. “I have settled all loans with other banks and it is only Askari Bank which is adopting deceptive practices,” said another customer, Jabbar Ahmed. When contacted, SBP Public Relations Director Waseemud Din said that the alleged victims of Askari Bank have every right to contact the Consumer Protection Department of SBP. “The consumers could also contact Banking Mohtasib for their complaints,” he added.


  1. You should never pay anything without the letter in your hand signed and sealed by the bank. Also note that the words 'Provisional Approval' means that the bank reserves the right to revoke the waiver or approval. The solution is to get an irrevocable commitment on paper which also states that 'the (you) have no further liability against the bank after the payment assured vide the Bank's letter.

    This is common sense people.

    After the letter is in your hands and the bank harasses you, you should contact a lawyer as you have legal standing.


  2. Asslam.o.Alaikum,
    I have used my credit card no.5140994041330006 in 2009 after that I satlied my remaining amount in 8 installments schedule. after a long time I have not received any clearance certificate from your esteemed organization. please issue me a certificate, thanks a lot.
    with regards,
    imtiaz tufail mir

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