Now NRIs & PIOs can open FCNR (B) accounts in any freely convertible currency

October 19, 2011:

Presently the deposit of funds in the Foreign Currency (Non-Resident) Account (Banks) Scheme [FCNR(B)] accounts may be accepted in such permissible currencies as may be designated by the Reserve Bank from time to time. Presently, Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Japanese Yen, Euro, Canadian Dollar and Australian Dollar are the currencies designated by the Reserve Bank.

The Committee to Review the Facilities for Individuals under FEMA, 1999 in its Report has recommended that FCNR(B) accounts may be permitted to be opened in any freely convertible currency.

On a review, Reserve Bank of India has decided that AD banks in India may be permitted to accept FCNR (B) deposits in any permitted currency. It may be noted that 'Permitted currency' for this purpose would mean a foreign currency which is freely convertible as defined in terms of Regulation 2(v) of FEMA 14/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000, as amended from time to time.

The move is likely to help NRIs/Persons of India Origin as it will give them more options in the holding of accounts, and lessen the risk from fluctuations in major currencies.

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