The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to operate resident bank accounts on “either or survivor” basis. According to RBI, banks may include an NRI close relative in existing / new resident bank accounts as joint holder with the resident account holder on “either or survivor” basis, subject to fulfillment of a few conditions.
Such accounts will be treated as resident bank accounts and will be subject to all the regulations applicable to a resident bank account. Cheques, instruments, remittances, cash, card or any other proceeds belonging to the NRI relative shall not be eligible for credit to this account.
Besides, the NRI relative shall operate such account only for and on behalf of the resident for domestic payment and not for creating any beneficial interest for himself. An NRI can be a joint holder in more than one account, if s/he is a close relative of all the resident bank account holders.
If due to any eventuality, the non-resident account holder becomes the survivor of such an account, it shall be categorised as Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee (NRO) account according to the extant regulations, RBI said. The onus will be on the non-resident account holder to keep the bank informed to get the account categorised as NRO account and all such regulations as applicable to NRO account shall be applicable.
According to RBI, the joint account holder facility may be extended to all types of resident accounts including savings bank accounts. While extending this facility, the banks should satisfy itself about the actual need for such a facility and also obtain a declaration, duly signed by the non-resident account holder, said RBI.