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    Sep 17, 2013

    FAQ on basic saving bank deposit account BSBDA

    1. Query

    What is the definition of 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' (BSBDA)?

    Response

    All the existing ‘No-frills’ accounts opened pursuant to guidelines issued vide circular RPCD.RF.BC.54/07.38.01/2005-06 dated December 13, 2005 and RPCD.CO.No.RRB.BC.58/ 03.05.33(F) / 2005-06 dated December 27, 2005 and converted into BSBDA in compliance with the guidelines issued in circular RPCD.CO.RRB.RCB.BC.No.24/07.38.01/2012-13 dated August 22, 2012 as well as fresh accounts opened under the said circular should be treated as BSBDA. Accounts enjoying additional facilities under the reasonable pricing structure for value added services, exclusively for BSBDA customers should not be treated as BSBDAs.


    2. Query

    Whether the guidelines issued on ‘no-frills’ account with 'nil' or very low minimum balances will continue even after the introduction of ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’?

    Response

    No. In supersession of instructions contained in circular RPCD.RF.BC.54/07.38.01/2005-06 dated December 13, 2005 and RPCD.CO.No.RRB.BC.58/03.05.33(F)/2005-06 dated December 27, 2005 on No Frill accounts, banks have now been advised to offer a 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' to all their customers vide RPCD.CO.RRB.RCB.BC.No.24/07.38.01/2012-13 dated August 22, 2012 which will offer minimum common facilities as stated therein. Banks are required to convert the existing 'no-frills' accounts’ into 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts'.

    3. Query

    Can an Individual have any number of 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' in one bank?

    Response

    No. An individual is eligible to have only one 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' in one bank.

    4. Query

    Whether a 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' holder can have any other saving account in that bank ?

    Response

    Holders of 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' will not be eligible for opening any other savings account in that bank. If a customer has any other existing savings account in that bank, he / she will be required to close it within 30 days from the date of opening a 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account'.

    5. Query

    Can an individual have other deposit accounts where one holds 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’?

    Response

    Yes. One can have Term/Fixed Deposit, Recurring Deposit etc., accounts in the bank where one holds 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account'.

    6. Query

    Whether the ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’ can be opened by only certain types of individuals like poor and weaker sections of the population?

    Response

    No. The 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' should be considered as a normal banking service available to all customers, through branches.

    7. Query

    Whether there are any restrictions like age, income, amount etc criteria for opening BSBDA by banks for individuals?

    Response

    No. Banks are advised not to impose restrictions like age and income criteria of the individual for opening BSBDA.

    8. Query

    Is the 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' a part of the Financial Inclusion plans of banks?

    Response

    The aim of introducing 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' is very much part of the efforts of RBI for furthering Financial Inclusion objectives. All the accounts opened earlier as 'no-frills' account vide RPCD Circular dated RPCD.RF.BC.54/07.38.01/2005-06 dated December 13, 2005 and RPCD.CO.No.RRB.BC. 58/03.05.33(F)/2005-06 dated December 27, 2005 should be renamed as BSBDA as per the instructions contained in paragraph 2 of our Circular RPCD.CO.RRB.RCB.BC.No.24/07.38.01/2012-13 dated August 22, 2012 and all the new accounts opened since the issue of our circular RPCD.CO.RRB.RCB.BC.No.24 dated August 22, 2012 should be reported under the monthly report of the progress of Financial Inclusion plans submitted by banks to RPCD, CO.

    9. Query

    What are KYC norms applicable to BSBDA accounts? Are there any relaxations in KYC norms for BSBDAs?

    Response

    The 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' would be subject to provisions of PML Act and Rules and RBI instructions on Know Your Customer (KYC) / Anti-Money Laundering (AML) for opening of bank accounts issued from time to time. BSBDA can also be opened with simplified KYC norms. However, if BSBDA is opened on the basis of Simplified KYC, the accounts would additionally be treated as “BSBDA-Small account” and would be subject to the conditions stipulated for such accounts as indicated in our circulars RPCD.CO.RCB.AML.BC.No.63/07.40.00/2010-11 dated April 26, 2011 and RPCD.CO.RRB. AML.BC.No. 15/03.05.33(E)/2011-12 dated August 8, 2011.

    10. Query

    Can I have a ‘Small Account’ in ABC Bank as per the Government of India Notification No.14/2010/F.No.6/2/2007-E.S. dated December 16, 2010. Can I have additionally a 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’?

    Response

    No, the BSBDA customer cannot have any other savings bank account in the same bank. If 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’ is opened on the basis of simplified KYC norms, the account would additionally be treated as a 'Small Account' and would be subject to conditions stipulated for such accounts as indicated in our circulars RPCD.CO.RCB.AML.BC.No.63/07.40.00/2010-11 dated April 26, 2011 and RPCD.CO.RRB.AML.BC.No. 15/03.05.33(E)/2011-12 dated August 8, 2011 on 'Opening of Small Account.'

    11. Query

    What are the conditions stipulated for accounts which are additionally to be treated as ‘BSBDA-Small Account’?

    Response

    As notified in terms of Govt. of India notification dated December 16, 2010, BSBDA-Small Accounts would be subject to the following conditions:

    i. Total credits in such accounts should not exceed one lakh rupees in a year.

    ii. Maximum balance in the account should not exceed fifty thousand rupees at any time

    iii. The total of debits by way of cash withdrawals and transfers will not exceed ten thousand rupees in a month

    iv. Foreign remittances cannot be credited to Small Accounts without completing normal KYC formalities

    v. Small accounts are valid for a period of 12 months initially which may be extended by another 12 months if the person provides proof of having applied for an Officially Valid Document.

    vi. Small Accounts can only be opened at CBS linked branches of banks or at such branches where it is possible to manually monitor the fulfillments of the conditions

    12. Query

    What kinds of services are available free in the 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’?

    Response

    The services available free in the 'Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’ will include deposit and withdrawal of cash; receipt / credit of money through electronic payment channels or by means of deposit / collection of cheques at bank branches as well as ATMs.

    13. Query

    Is there requirement of any initial minimum deposit while opening a BSBDA as per the circular dated August 22, 2012?

    Response

    There is no requirement for any initial deposit for opening a BSBDA.

    14. Query

    Whether banks are free to offer more facilities than those prescribed for ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’?

    Response

    Yes. However, the decision to allow services beyond the minimum prescribed has been left to the discretion of the banks who can either offer additional services free of charge or evolve requirements including pricing structure for additional value-added services on a reasonable and transparent basis to be applied in a non-discriminatory manner with prior intimation to the customers. Banks are required to put in place a reasonable pricing structure for value added services or prescribe minimum balance requirements which should be displayed prominently and also informed to the customers at the time of account opening. Offering such additional facilities should be non - discretionary, non-discriminatory and transparent to all ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’ customers. However such accounts enjoying additional facilities will not be treated as BSBDAs.

    15. Query

    If BSBDA customers have more than 4 withdrawals and request for cheque book at additional cost, will it cease to be a BSBDA?

    Response

    Yes. Please refer to response to the above query (Query No.14). However, if the bank does not levy any additional charges and offers more facilities free than those prescribed under BDBDA a/cs without minimum balance then such accounts can be classified as BSBDA.

    16. Query

    Whether the existing facility available in a normal saving bank account of five free withdrawals in a month in other banks' ATMs as per IBA (DPSS) instructions will hold good for BSBDA?

    Response

    No. In BSBDA, banks are required to provide free of charge minimum four withdrawals, through ATMs and other mode including RTGS/NEFT/Clearing/Branch cash withdrawal/transfer/internet debits/standing instructions/EMI etc. It is left to the banks to either offer free or charge for additional withdrawal/s. However, in case the banks decide to charge for the additional withdrawal, the pricing structure may be put in place by banks on a reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent manner by banks.

    17. Query

    Are the banks free to levy Annual ATM Debit Card charges?

    Response

    Banks should offer the ATM Debit Cards free of charge and no Annual fee should be levied on such Cards.

    18. Query

    Whether Balance enquiry in ATMs also should be counted within the four withdrawals permitted under BSBDA?

    Response

    Balance enquiry through ATMs should not be counted in the four withdrawals allowed free of charge at ATMs.

    19. Query

    If a customer of BSBDA agrees not to have ATM Debit card should the bank give ATM debit card by force?

    Response

    ATM debit cards may be offered at the time of opening BSBDA and issued if the customer requests for the same in writing. Banks need not force ATM debit cards on such customers.

    20. Query

    What about customers who are illiterate or old who may not be in a position to safe keep and use the ATM debit card and PIN associated with it?

    Response

    Banks while opening the BSBDA should educate such customers about the ATM Debit Card, ATM PIN and risk associated with it. However, if customer chooses not to have ATM Debit Card banks need not force ATM debit cards on such customers. If, however, customer opts to have an ATM Debit Card, banks should provide the same to BSBDA holders through safe delivery channels by adopting the same procedure which they have been adopting for delivery of ATM Debit Card and PIN to their other customers.

    21. Query

    Whether Passbooks are also to be offered free to BSBDA holders?

    Response

    Yes. BSBDA holders should be offered passbook facility free of charge in line with our instructions contained in circulars RPCD.CO.RF.BC.28/07.40.06/2006-07 dated October 11, 2006 and RPCD.CO.RRB.BC.No.29/03.05.28-A/2006-07 dated October 13, 2006.

    22. Query

    If a customer opens a BSBDA but does not close his existing Savings Bank Account within 30 days, are banks then free to close such savings bank accounts?

    Response

    While opening the BSBDA customers’ consent in writing be obtained that his existing non-BSBDA Savings Banks accounts will be closed after 30 days of opening BSBDA and banks are free to close such accounts after 30 days.

    23. Query

    In certain accounts like NREGA where disbursements are made weekly and if a month has five weeks, it may result in more than four withdrawals. In such cases can banks permit five withdrawals?

    Response

    In BSBDA, banks are required to provide free of charge minimum four withdrawals, including through ATM and other mode. Beyond four withdrawals, it is left to discretion of the banks to either offer free or charge for additional withdrawal/s. However pricing structure may be put in place by banks on a reasonable, non-discretionary, non-discriminatory and transparent manner by banks.

    24. Query

    What is the prescribed rate of interest payable on balances in such ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’?

    Response

    Our instructions contained in circular RPCD.CO.RRB.BC.No.57/03.05.33/2011-12 dated January 30, 2012 on Deregulation of Savings Bank Deposit Interest Rate, are applicable to deposits held in ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’.

    25. Query

    In terms of RBI circular DPSS. CO.CHD. No. 274/03.01.02/2012-13 dated August 10, 2012, if 'payable at par' / 'multi-city' cheques are issued to BSBDA customers based on their request, can banks prescribe minimum balance requirements?

    Response

    BSBDA does not envisage cheque book facility in the minimum facilities that it should provide to BSBDA customers. They are free to extend any additional facility including cheque book facility free of charge (in which case the account remains BSBDA) or charge for the additional facilities (in which case the account is not BSBDA).

    26. Query

    What is the time frame available to banks for converting 'No-Frills' Account as Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account? What is the time frame available to banks for issuing ATM Cards to all the existing Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account holders?

    Response

    All the existing 'No-Frill' accounts may be treated as BSBDA accounts from the date of the circular i.e., August 22, 2012 and banks may offer the prescribed facilities as per the circular such as issuing ATM card etc., to the existing ‘No-Frill’ account holders as and when the customer approaches the bank. However, for customers opening new accounts after the issue of our circular should be provided with the prescribed facilities immediately on opening of the account.

    27. Query

    Whether the normal saving bank account can be converted into BSBDA at the request of customer?

    Response

    Yes. Such customers should give their consent in writing and they should be informed of the features and extent of services available in BSBDAs.

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