Now, banks asking for source of funds deposited in old currency

A day after the Union government announced that bank customers would now need to provide satisfactory explanation while depositing more than Rs 5,000 in old currency notes, every bank has come out with its own way to evaluate its customers.

At one of the Central Bank branches in the national capital, the bank manager appeared reluctant to accept old currency in the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. “This new scheme is to fix the bank officials. They will ask me why I took money in old currency,” said the visibly upset manager, who did not wish to be identified.

The manager was asking each customers to write an application detailing why she didn’t deposit the money before December 20. The bank has also designed a form asking the customers to fill details like name, account number, and since when she had held an account at the branch.

The customers were also being asked about the details of their last deposit. Some customers were asked to attach copies of their PAN, along with their application letters.

The customers in their applications mentioned various reasons for not depositing the money earlier. However, long bank queues and December 30 being the initial deadline for depositing cash were the most cited reasons on the application forms.

At another public sector bank, the branch manager was yet to begin the process of accepting old currency notes above Rs 5,000 in total value. “I am yet to get directions from my seniors,” the manager said on the condition of not being identified. But the manager was clear that no old currency would be accepted if the customer didn’t have any concrete reasons.

“I will ask for evidence of hospitalisation or travel because I don’t want to face any inquiry in the future,” the manager said.

Private banks, a few of which are under scrutiny over money laundering to businessmen, are more sceptical. The second-largest private bank has come out with a form asking customers to detail the source of funds, besides other details.

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