The latest RBI KYC guidelines for opening new bank accounts make it a lot easier for common man as only one document would suffice as proof of identity and proof of residence
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come with modifications in KYC (Know Your Customer) guidelines. These modifications have been introduced as per the circular date 10 December 2012 (RBI/2012-13/322 DBOD.AML.BC. No. 65/14.01.001/2012-13). It is important to note that modifications are part of Second Quarter Review of Monetary Policy 2012-13 announced on 30 October 2012, which proposed to review the existing KYC norms for simplifying them within the provisions of PML Act/Rules and international standards.
Following are major modifications introduced in the KYC guidelines:
One document to be accepted as Proof of Identity and Proof of Residence: As per the circular, if a customer submits a document which has his identity details as well as address details, the bank should not insist on two separate documents for POA (Proof of Address) and POI (Proof of Identity). The circular says, “If the address on the document submitted for identity proof by the prospective customer is same as that declared by him/her in the account opening form, the document may be accepted as a valid proof of both identity and address”. This is indeed a significant change as customers will not be required to carry two sets of documents if one single document like passport has both address and identity details.
Introduction not mandatory for opening accounts: The latest circular has explicitly mentioned that introduction is not mandatory for opening bank accounts. The circular categorically states, “Since introduction is not necessary for opening of accounts under PML Act and Rules or Reserve Bank’s extant KYC instructions, banks should not insist on introduction for opening bank accounts of customers”.
Acceptance of Aadhaar letter for KYC purposes: Based on the feedback received from Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), RBI has instructed banks to accept Aadhaar letters for the purpose of POA, if the address provided by the account holder is the same as that on Aadhaar letter.
Other Changes: As part other important modifications introduced in the KYC guidelines, the RBI has asked banks to accept NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) cards as an officially valid document for opening of bank accounts. Also in cases of small accounts the RBI has asked banks to open accounts to increase financial inclusion in the country.
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(Vivek Sharma has worked for 17 years in the stock market, debt market and banking. He is a post graduate in Economics and MBA in Finance. He writes on personal finance and economics and is invited as an expert on personal finance shows.)