Chapter 9: Central Banks
State Bank of Pakistan
Source: URL: http://www.sbp.org.pk/about/core_functions/index.htm
Core Functions of State Bank of Pakistan
State Bank of Pakistan is the Central Bank of the country. While its constitution, as originally laid down in the State Bank of Pakistan Order 1948, remained basically unchanged until 1st January 1974 when the Bank was nationalised, the scope of its functions was considerably enlarged. The State Bank of Pakistan Act 1956, with subsequent amendments, forms the basis of its operations today.
Under the State Bank of Pakistan Order 1948, the Bank was charged with the duty to "regulate the issue of Bank notes and keeping of reserves with a view to securing monetary stability in Pakistan and generally to operate the currency and credit system of the country to its advantage". The scope of the Bank’s operations was considerably widened in the State Bank of Pakistan Act 1956, which required the Bank to "regulate the monetary and credit system of Pakistan and to foster its growth in the best national interest with a view to securing monetary stability and fuller utilisation of the country’s productive resources". Under financial sector reforms, the State Bank of Pakistan was granted autonomy in February 1994. On 21st January, 1997, this autonomy was further strengthened by issuing three Amendment Ordinances (which were approved by the Parliament in May, 1997) namely, State Bank of Pakistan Act, 1956, Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962 and Banks Nationalisation Act, 1974. The changes in the State Bank Act gave full and exclusive authority to the State Bank to regulate the banking sector, to conduct an independent monetary policy and to set limit on government borrowings from the State Bank of Pakistan. The amendments in Banks Nationalisation Act abolished the Pakistan Banking Council (an institution established to look after the affairs of NCBs) and institutionalised the process of appointment of the Chief Executives and Boards of the nationalised commercial banks (NCBs) and development finance institutions (DFIs), with the Sate Bank having a role in their appointment and removal. The amendments also increased the autonomy and accountability of the Chief Executives and the Boards of Directors of banks and DFIs.
Like a Central Bank in any developing country, State Bank of Pakistan performs both the traditional and developmental functions to achieve
supervision of the financial system, bankers’ bank, lender of the last resort, banker to Government, and conduct of monetary policy, and (b) the secondary functions including the agency functions like management of public debt, management of foreign exchange, etc., and other functions like advising the government on policy matters and maintaining close relationships with international financial institutions. The
REGULATION OF LIQUIDITY
Being the Central Bank of the country, State Bank of Pakistan has been entrusted with the responsibility to formulate and conduct monetary and credit policy in a manner consistent with the Government’s targets for growth and inflation and the recommendations of the Monetary and Fiscal Policies
To regulate the volume and the direction of flow of credit to different uses and sectors, the Bank makes use of both direct and indirect instruments of monetary management. Until recently, the monetary and credit scenario was characterised by acute segmentation of credit markets with all the attendant distortions. Pakistan embarked upon a program of financial sector reforms in the late 1980s. A number of fundamental changes have since been made in the conduct of monetary management which essentially marked a departure from administrative controls and quantitative restrictions to
ENSURING THE SOUNDNESS OF FINANCIAL SYSTEM
REGULATION AND SUPERVISION
One of the fundamental responsibilities of the State Bank is regulation and supervision of the financial system to ensure its soundness and stability as well as to protect the interests of depositors. The rapid advancement in information technology, together with growing complexities of modern banking operations, has made the supervisory role more difficult and challenging. The institutional complexity is increasing, technical sophistication is improving and technical base of banking activities is expanding. All this requires the State Bank for endeavoring hard to keep pace with the
To deepen and broaden financial markets as also to diversify the sources of credit, a number of
The "Prudential Regulations" for banks, besides providing for credit and risk exposure limits, prescribe guide lines relating to classification of
The "Rules of Business" for NBFIs became effective since the day NBFIs came under State Bank’s jurisdiction. As from January, 1997, modarbas and leasing companies, which are also specialized type of NBFIs, are being regulated/supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP), rather than the State Bank of Pakistan.
EXCHANGE RATE MANAGEMENT AND BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
One of the major responsibilities of the State Bank is the maintenance of external value of the currency. In this regard, the Bank is required, among other measures taken by it, to regulate foreign exchange reserves of the country in line with the stipulations of the Foreign Exchange Act 1947. As an agent to the Government, the Bank has been authorised to purchase and sale gold, silver or approved foreign exchange and transactions of Special Drawing Rights with the International Monetary Fund under
The Bank is responsible to keep the exchange rate of the rupee at an appropriate level and prevent it from wide fluctuations in order to maintain competitiveness of our exports and maintain stability in the foreign exchange market. To achieve the objective, various exchange policies have been adopted from time to time keeping in view the prevailing circumstances.
After nuclear detonation by Pakistan in 1998, a
As the custodian of country’s external reserves, the State Bank is also responsible for the management of the foreign exchange reserves. The task is being performed by an Investment Committee which, after taking into consideration the overall level of reserves, maturities and payment obligations, takes decision to make investment of surplus funds in such a manner that ensures liquidity of funds as well as maximises the earnings. These reserves are also being used for intervention in the foreign exchange market. For this purpose, a Foreign Exchange Dealing Room has been set up at the Central Directorate of State Bank of Pakistan and services of a ‘Forex Expert’ have been acquired.
DEVELOPMENTAL ROLE OF STATE BANK
The responsibility of a Central Bank in a developing country goes well beyond the regulatory duties of managing the monetary policy in order to achieve the
Ever since its establishment, the State Bank of Pakistan, besides discharging its traditional functions of regulating money and credit, has played an active developmental role to promote the realisation of
The scope of Bank’s operations has been widened considerably by including the economic growth objective in its statute under the State Bank of Pakistan Act 1956. The Bank’s participation in the development process has been in the form of rehabilitation of banking system in Pakistan, development of new financial institutions and debt instruments in order to promote financial intermediation, establishment of Development Financial Institutions (DFIs), directing the use of credit according to selected development priorities, providing subsidised credit, and development of the capital market.