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Kerala govt writes to RBI to withdraw caution notice on use of word ‘bank’ by co-op societies

The Reserve Bank of India has received a letter from the Kerala government requesting for withdrawal of caution notice issued by the central bank regarding use of word ‘bank’ by some cooperative societies, the government said on Tuesday. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said his ministry has “not received any representation” from any state government on RBI‘s press release on cautioning members of public against some cooperative societies using the word ‘Bank’ as part of their names and accepting deposits from non-members/nominal members/ associate members.

However, he informed that the RBI has received a letter dated December 1 from the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Kerala and a letter dated December 2 from the Minister of Cooperation and Registration, Government of Kerala “requesting for withdrawal of the caution notice issued by the RBI”.

In November, the RBI cautioned the public against co-operative societies using ‘bank’ in their names as well as accepting deposits from people who are not their members.

The RBI had said in a statement that it has come to notice that some cooperative societies are using the word ‘bank’ in their names in violation of the Banking Regulation Act.

The apex bank also said that it has also come to the notice that some co-operative societies are accepting deposits from non-members/ nominal members/ associate members which is tantamount to conducting banking business in violation of the provisions.

After the amendment in the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, effective September 29, 2020, co-operative societies cannot use the words “bank”, “banker” or “banking” as part of their names, except as permitted under the provisions or by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

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