The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday directed banks to offer to basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) account holders five services for free and without any requirement for maintaining minimum balance.
The five services are: deposit of cash at bank branches as well as ATMs and cash deposit machines (CDMs), receipt of money through any electronic channel or by means of deposit or collection of cheques drawn by government agencies and departments, unlimited deposits, a minimum of four withdrawals in a month, including ATM withdrawals, and an ATM card or ATM-cum-debit card.
In a notification on its website, the central bank said, “The Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) account was designed as a savings account which will offer certain minimum facilities, free of charge, to the holders of such accounts. In the interest of better customer service, it has been decided to make certain changes in the facilities associated with the account.”
The regulator also observed that the BSBD account shall be considered a normal banking service available to all. It added that banks are free to provide additional value-added services, including issue of cheque book, beyond the above minimum facilities, which may or may not be priced and must be disclosed.
Customers should have the option of not availing such value-added services. “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,” the RBI said.
Holders of BSBD accounts will not be eligible for opening any other savings bank deposit account in the same bank. If a customer has any other existing savings bank deposit account in that bank, they 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 she/he does not have a BSBD account in any other bank.
The rules will come into force on July 1.