Pakistan central bank orders startup Tag to refund customers

The State Bank of Pakistan, the South Asian nation's central bank, has ordered fintech Tag to "immediately" refund all funds to customers citing violation of regulatory requirements and "other concerns," posing existential questions on the startup's future.

The regulatory action follows a months-long probe into Tag, which offers banking and financial services to users in Pakistan. The startup has been accused of forging documents to the central bank, according to an investor letter obtained by TechCrunch. The central bank did not outline (PDF) which regulatory rules Tag had violated, but set a deadline of August 19 for the refund.

A founder of Tag accused the other co-founder of forging documents to the central bank; upon discovery of the fraudulent act the bank suspended the startup, a letter to investors in June said.

Tag is one of the fastest growing startups in Pakistan. It was valued at $100 million in its seed financing round in September last year. The startup counts Liberty City Ventures, Canaan Partners, Addition and Mantis among its backers.