ICICI Bank rolls out first ever resident foreign currency account

Tuesday, 24 December 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: ICICI Bank, one of India's fastest growing private sector banks, Monday announced the launch of foreign currency account for resident Indians after the central bank liberalised foreign exchange banking norms last month.

The ICICI Bank Resident Foreign Currency (domestic) Account facility will initially be offered through ICICI Bank in eight cities - Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune, said an ICICI Bank statement.

As part of the facility, resident Indians can now open an account with ICICI Bank to maintain funds in four foreign currencies - pound sterling, U.S. dollar, Japanese yen and euro, the statement added.

ICICI Bank is the first Indian bank to offer a foreign currency account to resident Indians following the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) liberalisation announcement last month.

The central bank has allowed resident Indians to open, hold and maintain a foreign currency account with a licensed bank in India.

Before this, residents in India were permitted to retain up to $2,000 or its equivalent in cash or travellers cheque and convert the rest into Indian currency.

The foreign currency account for resident Indians does not have any upper limit on balances maintained. However, customers have to ensure that the money deposited in the account is acquired through channels approved by the RBI.

Customers can use the balance in the account for any purpose permissible under foreign exchange regulations for resident Indians such as travel, medical treatment abroad, purchase of books directly or through the Internet and education abroad.

"The customer is allowed to transfer funds from his resident foreign currency account to his ICICI Bank saving account or to withdraw cash in Indian currency from the branch where the account is held," said the statement.

Source: IANS
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