BANKS TO ACKNOWLEDGE CHEQUES DEPOSITED AT BRANCHES - NOT INSIST ON DROP BOX FACILITY.

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The Reserve Bank of India has directed new private and foreign banks that they must acknowledge cheques deposited at various branches and not insist on customer using the drop box facility.

The move is expected to bring relief to a large section of customers. The central bank has also said that banks must make a provision for allowing customers to collect cheque books at branches.

Besides, banks have been ordered to clearly specify transaction details in pass books/statement of accounts. Foreign banks and new private banks with centralised processing facilities deliver cheque books which are issued through a centralised facility, only through courier.

At the same time, the banks make customers sign a declaration that the despatch through a courier is at the customers risk.

A RBI constituted committee on procedures and performance audit on public services has said that the procedure is an unfair practice and customers should be provided a facility where they can collect their cheque books from bank branches.

The committee has also observed that pass book and account statement entries generated through computers contain undecipherable terms, such as RBIEFTR, which cannot be understood by the general public. The central bank has therefore asked banks to "avoid such inscrutable entries and ensure that brief, intelligible particulars are invariably entered in passbooks/statements of account."

Customers of foreign and new private banks have been actively discouraged by the banks to transact through bank branches. These banks often refuse to give an acknowledgement on the deposit slip if the cheques are deposited at branch counters.

RBI has said, "it is important that there is no curtailment of the rights of the depositor to obtain an acknowledgement by going to the concerned counter."

RBI has said, these various issues were examined by the committee chaired by former deputy governor SS Tarapore. The recommendations of the committee were considered and accepted by the central bank.

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