No rush to swap ₹2k notes, many banks seek ID proof


MUMBAI: On the first day of currency withdrawal, there was no rush to exchange Rs 2,000 notes at banks as everything was working as usual in most of the branches. However, customers could not get any clarity about ID proofs and forms. It was observed that many bank branches insisted on requesting receipts and identity cards from those wishing to exchange the banknotes.
“I don’t want to risk losing my job,” a private bank branch manager told TOI when asked why he insisted on an application slip with identity details. He added that the bank had internal risk management practices that required him to explain where the notes came from. The manager added that without keeping records it is not possible to determine whether a person traded within the prescribed limit as multiple deposits are possible. “There is always the possibility of investigating the origin of the banknotes,” he said.

Over the weekend, SBI, the country’s largest lender, had opted not to require proof of identity or a form. However, in a conference call with banks, RBI officials urged banks to “use caution” when exchanging Rs 2,000 notes.
Bankers are obliged to procure PAN Numbers for cash transactions over 50,000 rupees. You are also required to submit a Cash Transaction Report detailing the total cash deposits greater than Rs 10 lakh rupees during a year. If they are not satisfied that the source of funds is legal, they must also file a suspicious transaction report.
Customers reported that they had to submit forms or provide ID to many banks including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Central Bank, Union Bank and the branches of the Punjab National Bank (PNB). PNB had said that there was no such requirement.
According to one accountant, many individuals were more interested in exchanging notes than depositing them because those who deposited even a few lakhs during demonetization received income tax returns. “It is not illegal for a person to have banknotes in excess of 1 lakh rupees in their home, but it can be difficult for them to explain when they have withdrawn those notes,” he said
Saraswat Credit Union asked customers to fill out a “Cash Exchange Challan” with PAN, Aadhaar and mobile number. Some bank branches also asked customers to write down the serial number of the banknotes to be deposited.
Bankers said the number of Rs 2,000 notes in public was small and they expected more money to come in from corporate deposits.

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