The Reserve Bank of India Monday relaxed norms on Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) accounts, directing banks to offer value-added facilities, free of charge, and without any requirement of a minimum balance.
Banks will now provide cheque books and other facilities to the zero-balance account holders without charging minimum balance in lieu of such facilities. Earlier, additional facilities made these accounts like regular savings account, thus attracting requirement of maintaining minimum balance and other charges.
The apex bank eased regulations for basic accounts, popularly known as ‘no-frills’ accounts. Easing the requirements, the RBI asked the banks to allow deposit of cash at bank branch as well as ATMs/CDMs without imposing any limit on the number and value of deposits that can be made in a month.
Banks have also been asked to ensure facilities of receipt/ credit of money through any electronic channel or by means of deposit /collection of cheques drawn by Central/State Government agencies and departments for basic account holders. These facilities also include four withdrawals from ATMs in a month, and ATM Card or ATM-cum-Debit Card.
The BSBD Account shall be considered a normal banking service available to all, the RBI said.
As part of the financial inclusion drive, the RBI had asked banks to provide BSBDA 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 Reserve Bank of India said.