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Banking codes & standards revised keeping in mind needs of disabled people

The Banking Codes and Standards Board of India, which is an independent banking industry watchdog that protects people who use banking services, has released a revised 'Code of Bank's Commitment to Customers - January 2018.

This revised code has been framed after consultations with banks, the Indian Banks Association as well as the Reserve Bank of India. The new rules come into effect immediately, and most banks across India have adopted this code.

The new code has several important rules in place for the disabled as well as the elderly.

Under point 2.1.2 Right to Transparency, Fair and Honest Dealing, two key commitments have been mentioned:

  • Every website must display facilities for senior citizens and the disabled.
  • Efforts will be made to make it easy for the elderly, disabled and illiterate to bank. This will include making convenient policies, products and services.
  • Endeavor to develop systems and procedures to improve access to banking services. This will include making physical access easier by providing ramps and hand railings at bank branches and ATMs to make it easier for the elderly and the disabled to access various banking facilities.
  • Sensitize bank staff interacting with the elderly and the disabled to help in carrying out bank transactions.

Apart from this the new code mentions that an effort will be made to :

  • Offer personalized services for banking transactions and redressal of grievances
  • Provide seating arrangements in the banking hall, provide services through a Single Window mechanism.
  • Permit withdrawal of funds, up to limits set by the account holder, by authorized people.
  • Provide 'Doorstep' banking, that is pick up of cash / instruments for credit, demand drafts, etc. for senior citizens above 70 years of age and disabled, including those who are blind.
  • Issue pension slips with details of pension credited.
  • Deliver pension at the doorstep in special circumstances.
  • Accept Life Certificate that is required to be submitted by pensioners at any branch of the bank.
  • Guide relatives / parents of disabled persons on how to appoint a legal guardian, under the National Trust Act, 1999, for disabled persons with autism, cerebral palsy, and multiple disabilities who can then open and operate accounts for them.
  • All banking facilities offered to the blind such as cheque books, ATMs, net banking, locker, retail loans, credit cards etc.

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