People queue at the entrance to the reception of the Reserve Bank of India in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

RBI Allows Banks For Fire Audit Of Currency Chests By Approved Agencies

The Reserve Bank of India has relaxed norms for the fire audit of currency chests allowing banks to get it done from approved agencies in case of shortage of staff at district fire offices.

Banks maintaining currency chests are required to get fire audit done once in a two years. In a recent notification, the central bank said it had been receiving references from various banks about non-availability of staff in state/district fire departments for getting the periodical fire audit conducted in their respective currency chests.

“The matter has been examined and it is decided that in case of non-availability of officials of the district fire department, the fire audit can also be conducted by the agencies approved by the respective state/district fire departments,” it said.

In April 2016, the RBI had directed banks having currency chests to ensure conducting of fire audits bi-annually by the officials from the district fire department. The banks were also asked to ensure that the working condition of the hotline and other security related gadgets are checked once in a fortnight by the currency chest officials.

There are 3,975 currency chests in the country, with as many as 2,575 being managed by the State Bank of India, according to the RBI’s annual report.