Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said commercial banks need to offer holders of basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) accounts, a minimum of four withdrawals in a month, including automatic teller machine (ATM) withdrawals. The rules will come into force from 1 July.
In its earlier direction on 10 August 2012, the central bank had said while there will be no limit on the number of deposits that can be made in a BSBD account each month, account holders will be allowed up to four withdrawals in a month, including ATM withdrawals.
The BSBD account was designed as a savings account that will offer certain minimum facilities, free of charge, to the holders. Such accounts are primarily aimed at enhancing financial inclusion among the economically weaker sections.
There is no need for a minimum balance even at the time of opening the account and a customer is provided with an ATM-cum-debit card without any fees. Deposit and withdrawal services are free of cost. Also, the bank cannot levy charges for non-operation or activation of an inoperative account.
“In the interest of better customer service, it has been decided to make certain changes in the facilities associated with the account," RBI said.
It said that banks are free to provide additional value-added services such as issuing cheque books beyond the above minimum facilities, which may or may not be priced (in a non-discriminatory manner) subject to disclosure.
Availing of the additional services shall be an option for the customers. “However, while offering such additional services, banks shall not require the customer to maintain a minimum balance. Offering such additional services will not make it a non-BSBD account, so long as the prescribed minimum services are provided free of charge," it said.
Moreover, holders of BSBD accounts will not be eligible for opening any other savings bank deposit accounts. RBI said if a customer has any other existing savings bank deposit account in that bank, the customer will be required to close it within 30 days from the date of opening a BSBD account.
“Further, before opening a BSBD account, a bank should take a declaration from the customer that he or she is not having a BSBD account in any other bank," said RBI.