Banks will now provide cheque books and other facilities to basic account holders, with RBI relaxing the norms for no-frills bank accounts on Monday. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

RBI Relaxes Norms For No-Frills Accounts

Banks will now provide cheque books and other facilities to basic account holders, with the Reserve Bank of India relaxing the norms for no-frills accounts on Monday.

Earlier, additional facilities made these bank accounts like regular savings account, thus attracting requirement of maintaining minimum balance and other charges.

RBI eased regulations for Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts, popularly known as no-frills bank accounts. As part of the financial inclusion drive, RBI had asked banks to provide no-frills bank accounts as a savings account offering—certain minimum facilities, free of charge.

“Banks are free to provide additional value-added services, including issue of cheque book, beyond the above minimum facilities, which may/may not be priced (in non-discriminatory manner) subject to disclosure...Offering such additional services will not make it a non-BSBD Account, so long as the prescribed minimum services are provided free of charge,” the central bank said.

However, while offering additional services, banks should not require the customer to maintain a minimum balance, it added.

According to norms governing no-frills accounts, holders are not required to maintain minimum balance and get certain minimum facilities for free.

These facilities include four withdrawals from ATMs in a month, deposit of cash at bank branches, and ATM card or ATM-cum-debit card. Now, there will be no limit on number and value of deposits that can be made in a month in a no-frills account.

Bloomberg Quint

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