RBI Amends KYC Guidelines Making Aadhaar Key To Conducting Customer Due Diligence

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New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday has done away with sections relating to the use of other “officially valid documents” by lenders for address and identity proof but has said that the new norms are subject to the final judgment of the Supreme Court on Aadhaar. The RBI also amended its ‘know your customer’ (KYC) guidelines, making Aadhaar key to conducting customer due diligence by banks and finance companies.

In a circular, the RBI said the norms have been revised because the government had amended laws on prevention of money laundering through a gazette notification on June 2017. However, it’s not clear when the new guidelines would come into force.

Last month, the Supreme Court struck down a March 31 deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail of various services until its constituent bench came up with a verdict on the validity of the unique identification number. The removal of the deadline applied to bank accounts and telecom services in addition to other government schemes.

The circular states that for the purpose of doing customer due diligence, all RBI regulated entities must obtain “from an individual who is eligible for enrolment of Aadhaar”, the Aadhaar number, PAN or Form No. 60 as defined in income tax rules. Since every citizen is eligible for Aadhaar, the rule will apply to all Indians.

The Aadhaar requirement though is relaxed for residents of Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and Meghalaya. It is still not clear how banks are expected to deal with customer due diligence considering that the new circular amends several of the earlier directions dated February 25, 2016. For instance, the new norms do not include an earlier section allowing a copy of the marriage certificate issued by the state government or a gazette notification, indicating change in name together with a certified copy of the ‘officially valid document’ in the existing name of the person as proof of address and identity

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