RBI says Aadhaar must for opening new bank accounts, but subject to final SC judgement

Aadhaar and PAN cards will now be mandatory for opening bank accounts, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). However, this is subject to the final Supreme Court judgement on the Aadhaar case.

Updating its master circular on KYC norms, the RBI said Aadhaar and PAN numbers must be mentioned while opening new bank accounts. If the details were not available, the applicants would have to provide proof that they had applied for these documents over the past six months.

In the absence of Aadhaar and PAN documents, the bank would assign ‘small accounts’ to the individual; these have several restrictions on transactions and foreign transactions are not allowed on these accounts.

The ‘small accounts’ can be opened only at core banking solution-linked branches or in branches where it is possible to monitor foreign remittances and ensure that they are not credited to the account, said the RBI.

According to the central bank, it was acting in accordance with the changes in the Prevention of Money Laundering Rules. However, this is subject to the final judgement of the Supreme Court in the Aadhaar case.