Common Folio Must for Multiple Accounts Soon

A host of measures are in the offing to curb smurfing the process of conducting multiple transactions or opening multiple accounts to circumvent antimoney laundering laws. The Reserve Bank of India is set to make it mandatory for all customer accounts in a bank to come under a common customer account number. The central bank has also asked all cooperative banks in the country to put in place a core banking solution.Bankers said that measures to crack down on antimoney laundering have been on the cards for sometime now. There is a sea change from what was practised five years ago and the controls that are in place now.RBI had indicated that more controls are in the offing.We expect their implementation to be hastened now, said a bank official.The comments are in the wake of a sting operation by a web portal which exposed willingness of branch managers to assist persons in circumventing anti-money laundering norms.

Bankers feel that there is a possibility that RBI may initiate a comprehensive inspection to identify multiple accounts in banks similar to whatwasdoneduring thedemat scam in 2005.In the demat scam it was discovered that several thousand demat accounts were being opened by handful of investors with the objective of cornering sharesofferedto retailinvestors in initial public offerings.Thedematscam had resulted in a slew of banks being slapped with compounded penalties.

The other prescription thatislikely tobe mandatory is compulsory linking of bank accounts to PAN numbers or Adhaar numbers when deposits cross a certain threshold. On Wednesday,RBI asked all cooperative banks to have in place a core banking solution which enables centralized accesstodata on all accounts and transactions.

Times of India, New Delhi, 18-03-2013


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