Home/ News / India/  Explained: How special Rupee Vostro accounts can facilitate India-Russia trade

Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Monday stated that India and Russia are currently engaged in talks to address payment-related concerns that need to be resolved.

During the India-Russia Business Dialogue, Jaishankar discussed the expansion of the correspondent relationship network for International Trade Settlement in Indian Rupees through the Special Rupee Vostro Account system.

"There are also discussions on the payments issue. The expansion of the correspondent relationship network, under the scheme of International Trade Settlement in Indian Rupees through the Special Rupee Vostro Account system. And I think the payments issue clearly needs to be worked through between our systems. It is something we will also be discussing at the meeting tomorrow," Jaishankar said.

A vostro account is a bank account held by a domestic bank for a foreign bank, denominated in the domestic currency of the former. The Rupee Vostro Account specifically holds the foreign entity's deposits in Indian rupees at the Indian bank.

This type of banking is an essential part of correspondent banking, which involves a bank or an intermediary carrying out wire transfers, business transactions, depositing funds, and collecting documents on behalf of another bank.

It enables domestic banks to access foreign financial markets and serve international clients without having to establish a physical presence abroad.

Earlier on April 2, public sector lender, Union Bank of India becomes the first bank in the country to open a Special Rupee Vostro Account through its corresponding bank in Malaysia i.e. India International Bank of Malaysia.

This means that trade between India and Malaysia can now be settled in the Indian rupee, in addition to the current modes of settlement in other currencies.

Earlier in March, Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Santosh Kumar Sarangi had said that HDFC Bank and UCO Bank are among the several banks that have opened nearly 30 special vostro accounts to enable cross-border trade in Indian rupees.

In 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the finance ministry instructed senior management of banks and trade bodies to promote import and export transactions in Indian rupees.

They urged banks to establish special rupee vostro accounts in collaboration with their foreign counterparts to facilitate cross-border trade in Indian currency, as opposed to using the US dollar which is currently the more popular mode of transaction.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 18 Apr 2023, 08:26 AM IST
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