In a sudden volte face following a huge public outcry, the State Bank of India — the country’s biggest bank — on Sunday withdrew its decision on the mandatory filling of a slip for exchange of ₹2,000 bank notes at its branches.
“In partial modification of instructions, it has been decided that the facility of exchange of ₹2,000 denomination bank notes to all members of the public upto limit of ₹20,000 at a time will be allowed without obtaining any requisition slip as per the format attached in Annuxure III,” said a letter issued by SBI Chief General Manager (Operations) S. Muralidharan.
“Further, no identity proof is required to be submitted by the tenderer at the time of exchange,” the letter issued to SBI branches said. “Hence, Annexure III which is attached to E-Circular dated 19.05.2023 stands withdrawn immediately. There is no change in other instruments given in the E-Circular,” it added.
On Friday, the same SBI office had issued a letter saying, “Deposit of ₹2,000 banknotes into accounts maintained with our bank will be allowed in the usual manner, that is, without restrictions and subject to compliance with extant Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and other applicable Statutory requirements.” SBI’s KYC norms require a requisition slip and identity proofs to be submitted.
“The branches are also advised to comply with Cash Transaction Reporting (CT) and Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) requirements, where applicable,” it had stated. There shall not be any limit on the quantity and value of the ₹2,000 denomination notes to be credited into the account maintained with the bank, it had added.
‘Not an RBI directive’
It is learnt that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had not issued any such instructions to banks to collect identity proofs of tenderers swapping the ₹2,000 bank notes, and the SBI had issued the directive on its own. Sources also say that the condition had been withdrawn following the intervention of the Finance Ministry after the public hue and cry.
As other banks from both the public and private sector generally follow the SBI’s lead in such matters, it is likely that no other bank will ask for any slip or proofs to be furnished during the exchange of notes which will commence from Tuesday.