RBI makes it easier to open bank accounts

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made it easier for people to open bank accounts by easing the know-your-customer (KYC) norms for banks.

In a notification issued on Monday, RBI said banks can accept documents such as passport, PAN card, driver's licence, Aadhaar letter, or NREGA job card as proof of both identity and address.

"If the address on the document submitted for identity proof by the prospective customer is same as that declared by him/her in the account opening form, the document may be accepted as a valid proof of both identity and address," it said.

So far, banks have been calling for separate documents for verification of identity and address even though the identity documents also carry the address of the individual concerned. This was to comply with their obligation under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PML) Act, 2002.

The single document submission for proof of identity and address is aimed at easing the burden on the prospective customers in complying with KYC requirements for opening new accounts, the RBI said in a notification.

The RBI has also done away with the requirement of an introduction from an existing customer of the bank for opening of bank accounts.