RBI revamps KYC guidelines, reinforcing customer verification

In a move to bolster customer verification mechanisms, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has overhauled its ‘Master’ Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines. The revamped guidelines, announced on Wednesday, require banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to conduct due diligence and periodically update customer data based on a risk-oriented approach.

The overhaul was catalyzed by government mandates pertaining to the Anti-Money Laundering Rules, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Act. These mandates are aimed at strengthening the financial system’s resilience against illegal activities and ensuring the preservation of critical customer information.

In addition to complying with domestic regulations, the revised KYC guidelines also incorporate recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist financing. This integration underscores the RBI’s commitment to align with international best practices in financial security.

The updated guidelines place particular emphasis on high-risk customers, reflecting a broader trend in global banking towards risk-based approaches to customer verification. This shift is intended to improve the efficacy of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures.


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