Banking Current Affairs 2015

Union Government launches Suraksha Bandhan drive in Mission Mode

Union Government has launched Suraksha Bandhan drive in a Mission Mode through participating insurance companies and banks.

The drive aims at taking forward Union Government’s objective of creating a universal social security system in the country, especially for the poor and the under-privileged sections.

Key facts of Suraksha Bandhan drive

  • It will facilitate enrolment of these sections under social security schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY).
  • Participating Banks will be supported by the participating Insurance Companies. They will collectively work towards local outreach and awareness building in order to facilitate enrolments during this drive.
  • During this drive, enrolling persons will be exempted to submit a certificate of good health for PMJJBY.
  • This drive will be supported through the Jeevan Suraksha Gift Cheques of 351 rupees to facilitate one year payment of premium for PMJJBY and PMSBY.


RBI allows banks to merge, shift or close branches in urban areas

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken decision to allow banks to merge, shift or close branches in urban areas on their own discretion.

In this regard, RBI has issued a notification that mention detailed provisions of above decisions. This move will give banks greater operational freedom but it won’t be valid for rural areas.

As per RBI notifcation

  • Merger, shifting or closure of any rural branch as well as a sole semi urban branch will require prior approval of the District Level Review Committee (DLRC) or District Consultative Committee (DCC).
  • Banks making changes should inform customers of its  branch time before actual merger, shifting or closure of the office.
  • The banking activity, which include deposit or loan business should not be maintained at both places. In case of new location as part shifting should be located within 1 km of the existing location.
  • The banks should ensure that they continue to fulfill the role entrusted to these branches under the Direct Benefit Transfer Schemes (DBTS) and other government sponsored programmes.
  • It should be noted that the apex bank has allowed banks to shift their some branch in any centre due rent or space constraints without seeking prior approval of RBI.


Lok Sabha passes Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015

Lok Sabha has passed Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill 2015 by a voice vote.

The bill seeks to amend The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 in order to make cheque-bounce filing of cases more convenient for check payees (person who receives the cheque).

The bill also seeks to replace an ordinance which was re-promulgated in this regard earlier in May 2015 after it was not passed in Rajya Sabha, though it was passed by the Lok Sabha in the May 2015.

Key features of Bill

  • Adds provision to specify the territorial jurisdiction of the courts in cases related to bouncing of cheques which was not present in the parent Act.
  • It says that cases in this regard need to be filed only in a court in whose jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee lies.
  • It also adds provision related to more than one case is filed against the same person before different courts for bouncing of cheques.
  • In this matter, the case will be transferred to the court that has appropriate jurisdiction. The bill also amends the definition of cheque.
  • Redefines cheque in the electronic form which is signed in a secure system with a digital signature or using electronic system and drawn in electronic medium using any computer resource.

It should be noted that, these amendments to parent Act seek to overturn a Supreme Court’s earlier unfriendly check payee ruling of August 2014. The ruling given by court had mentioned that cases on the persons who have defaulted their cheque payments could only be filed in courts under which jurisdiction of the bank account of the accused fell.

About Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881

The Act defines bills of exchange, promissory notes, cheques and creates penalties for issues such as bouncing of cheques. It also specifies circumstances under which complaints for cheque bouncing can be filed.