Banks can accept documents such as Passport, PAN Card, Drivers’ Licence, Aadhaar letter, and NREGA Job Card as proof of identity as well as address, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

However, this is subject to the address on the document submitted for identity proof by the prospective customer is the same as that declared by him/her in the account opening form.

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

So far, banks have been calling for separate documents for verification of identity and address even though the documents for identity proof (Passport, PAN Card, Drivers’ Licence etc.) 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 RBI has also done away with the requirement of introduction from an existing customer of the bank for opening of bank accounts.

Since introduction is not necessary for opening of accounts under PML Act and Rules or Reserve Bank’s extant KYC instructions, banks should not insist on introduction for opening bank accounts of customers, the central bank said.

ramkumar.k@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 11, 2012)
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