The Telegraph
Tuesday , June 10 , 2014
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Address proof breather for migrant bank customers

Mumbai, June 9: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said an individual can open a bank account with just one address proof — either the current or permanent address.

This move is expected to help migrant workers and employees with transferable jobs who face a cumbersome procedure to access banking services.

“Henceforth, customers may submit only one documentary proof of address (either current or permanent) while opening a bank account or while undergoing periodic updation,” the RBI said in a notification issued to the chiefs of commercial banks and financial institutions.

This marks yet another move by the Reserve Bank of India towards easing know-your customer (KYC) norms for opening bank accounts.

In January last year, the RBI had directed banks to transfer existing accounts at the transferor branch to the transferee branch without insisting on fresh proof of address and on the basis of a self-declaration from the account holder about his/her current address.

This has been done to benefit customers with transferable jobs as they are unable to produce utility bills or other documents in their name as address proof immediately after relocating.

The Reserve Bank said it took the decision based on representations and references from various quarters, including migrant workers, about the problems faced by them in submitting an address proof while opening a bank account.

According to the apex bank, if the address mentioned in the proof undergoes a change, a fresh proof may be submitted to the branch within six months.

If the customers are not able to furnish the local proof of address, the bank may take a declaration of the local address to which all correspondences will be made. In such a case, no proof is required to be submitted.

“No proof is required to be submitted for such address for correspondence/local address. This address may be verified by the bank through positive confirmation such as acknowledgment of receipt of letter, cheque books, ATM cards, telephonic conversation,” the apex bank said.

Bankers welcomed the development, pointing out that it will benefit customers as in many cases, they are unable to immediately submit a proper proof of their residence after relocating.

“This (submission of address proof) was a headache for these customers who had just been transferred and they will certainly be relieved,” the chief of a public sector bank said.