The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday allowed minors above the age of 10 to open and operate savings bank accounts independently.

This was to promote the objective of financial inclusion and to bring uniformity among banks in opening and operating minors’ accounts.

The central bank said a savings /fixed / recurring bank deposit account could be opened by a minor of any age through his/her natural or legally appointed guardian.

Earlier, banks were allowed to open minors’ accounts (fixed and savings deposit accounts) with mother as guardian.

However, the RBI asked banks to fix limits in terms of age and the amount up to which minors might be allowed to operate the deposit accounts independently, keeping in view their risk management systems.

“They [banks] can also decide, in their own discretion, what minimum documents are required ... ,” the RBI added.

On attaining majority, the RBI said, the erstwhile minor should confirm the balance in his/her account and if the account is operated by the natural guardian / legal guardian, fresh operating instructions and specimen signature of the erstwhile minor should be obtained and kept on record for all operational purposes.

Banks are free to offer additional banking facilities such as Internet banking, ATM/ debit card and cheque book facility, “subject to the safeguards that minor accounts are not allowed to be overdrawn and that these always remain in credit.”

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