I am surprised that it did not bother this government the slightest bit that there is an obvious conflict of interest if one brother is heading the State Bank of Pakistan, with its regulatory functions of a watchdog, and another heads the SBP-owned National Bank of Pakistan. Strict compliance of regulatory controls in banking is mandatory if we are to evade the prospect of bank failures. This is something whose impact our economy simply cannot absorb. State Bank of Pakistan as the central bank must abide by strict prudential rules since it has to supervise the entire functioning of the banking sector in Pakistan. It has to ensure integrity, systemic safety, legal risk coverage and most important of all, depositor protection arrangements to prevent fraud and misappropriation. Lack of strict regulatory controls has recently led to collapse of banking industry giants and investment funds within USA, an epidemic that has spread worldwide thereafter. There are already reports of irregularities in state-owned banks that are prone to advancing credit facilities to the favoured without proper collateral and equity while succumbing to political pressures. Pakistan's economy is already under scrutiny, more so now with stringent compliance being a mandatory requirement of the IMF. It is hoped that better sense will prevail. -R. CHAUDHRY, Texas, USA, via e-mail, January 13.