RBI issues norms for banks to set up currency chests

The Reserve Bank of India Monday came out with guidelines for banks to set up new currency chests, specifying minimum standards for setting up new currency chests.

An RBI Committee on Currency Movement (CCM) chaired by executive director DK Mohanty had, in 2016, inter-alia, recommended that the RBI should encourage banks to open large currency chests (CCs) with modern facilities and Chest Balance Limit (CBL) of at least Rs1,000 crore. 
Accordingly, RBI said, it has been decided to have the following minimum standards for setting up new CCs:
  • A strong room/vault of at least 1,500 sq ft (at least 600 sq ft for those situated in hilly/inaccessible places);
  • Processing capacity of 6,60,000 pieces of banknotes per day (2,10,000 pieces for those situated in the hilly/inaccessible places);
  • Amenability to adoption of automation and adaptability to implement IT solutions;
  • CBL of Rs10 billion, subject to ground realities and reasonable restrictions, at the discretion of the Reserve Bank; and
  • Adherence to other extant technical specifications issued vide by the RBI.
RBI said banks desirous of setting up CCs shall ensure that the above mentioned minimum standards are conformed to. All other norms regarding opening of CCs shall remain unchanged, it added.
As per the RBI's annual report of 2017-18, the currency management infrastructure consists of a network of 19 issue offices of the Reserve Bank, 3,975 currency chest and 3,654 small coin depots of commercial, co-operative and regional rural banks spread across the country.