Q. What is KYC?
Know Your Customer - KYC enables banks to know/ understand their customers and their financial dealings to be able to serve them better and manage its risks prudently.
Q. Why KYC?
To establish the identity of the client : This means identifying the customer and verifying his/ her identity by using reliable, independent source documents, data or information. For individuals, bank will obtain identification data to verify the identity of the customer, his address/ location and also his recent photograph. This will be done for the joint holders and mandate holders as well. For non-individuals, bank will obtain identification data to:
To ensure that sufficient information is obtained on the nature of employment/ business that the customer does / expects to undertake and the purpose of the account
- verify the legal status of the legal person/ entity
- verify identity of the authorized signatories and
- verify identity of the Beneficial owners/ controllers of the account
Q. Are KYC requirements new?
No, KYC requirements have always been in place and Banks have been taking KYC documents in accordance with the guidelines issued by RBI from time to time. RBI has revisited the KYC guidelines in the context of recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Anti Money Laundering standards and on Combating Financing of Terrorism and enhanced the KYC standards in line with international benchmarks
Q. Is KYC mandatory?
Yes. It is a regulatory and legal requirement.
Regulatory: In terms of the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 29th November 2004 on Know Your Customer [KYC] Standards – Anti Money Laundering [AML] Measures, all banks are required to put in place a comprehensive policy framework covering KYC Standards and AML Measures.
Legal: The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) which came into force from 1st July, 2005 (after “rules” under the Act were formulated and published in the Official Gazette) also requires Banks, Financial Institutions and Intermediaries to ensure that they follow certain minimum standards of KYC and AML as laid down in the Act and the “rules” framed there under.
Q. When does KYC apply?
Opening a new account
Opening a subsequent account where documents as per current KYC standards not been submitted while opening the initial account
Opening a Locker Facility where these documents are not available with the bank for all the Locker facility holders
When the bank feels it necessary to obtain additional information from existing customers based on conduct of the account
When there are changes to signatories, mandate holders, beneficial owners etc
KYC will be carried out at the following stages:
KYC will also be carried out in respect of non-account holders approaching the bank for high value one-off transactions.
Q. Who is my contact point in the Bank for KYC purposes?
Your contact point in the Bank will be the Relationship Manager or the officer who opens your account and who is in touch with you for your transactions.
Q. What will happen if I do not provide the required KYC information / documents to the Bank?
Customer Identification Procedure: In line with the RBI mandate, the following features need to be verified and the relevant documents must be obtained from customers:
The Bank will be entitled to refuse to open the account (if you are a prospective customer) or discontinue its relationship with you citing non-providing of KYC information / documents (if you are an existing customer).
However, for certain categories of customers who are not able to provide the necessary documents, the Bank will open the account as per the flexibility provided vide RBI DBOD circular no. AML.BC.28/14.01.001/2005-06 dated 23rd August, 2005.