What Is The Reserve Bank Of India (RBI)?

RBI What Is The Reserve Bank Of India

What is The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)?

The Reserve Bank of India is responsible for regulating India’s financial markets and maintaining economic stability.

Established by the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934, and commencing operations on 1 April 1935, the Reserve Bank of India serves as the country’s central bank and primary financial regulator. The RBI was originally privately owned but was nationalized in 1949 following India’s declaration of independence from the United Kingdom in 1947. Today, as India’s central bank, the RBI is responsible for protecting the country’s monetary stability and does so by regulating the economy, issuing currency, promoting growth, and supervising financial institutions. As part of that supervisory role, the RBI works to combat financial crime, with a focus on anti-money laundering in India and on countering the financing of terrorism.   

The Reserve Bank of India is managed by a central board of directors, appointed to four-year terms and led by a governor – currently Shaktikanta Das. Headquartered in Mumbai, the RBI also has regional boards in Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, and New Delhi, along with 27 regional offices around the country. Beyond its founding legislation (the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934), the RBI operates under the authority of legislation including the Banking Regulation Act 1949, the Government Securities Act 2006, and the Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007.

What Does The Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) Do?

The RBI has authority over banks and financial institutions, and non-banking finance companies in India and sets the legal parameters by which those institutions must operate. As a central bank, the RBI issues currency, manages foreign exchange and acts as a banker for both the government and commercial banks. The RBI’s supervisory authority is directed by its Board for Financial Supervision, which meets once every month to deliberate on regulatory issues. 

In its regulatory and supervisory role, the RBI has a broad range of duties and responsibilities, including:

  • Issuing licenses to banks wishing to conduct business in India or open new branches.
  • Inspecting banks and financial institutions for compliance with RBI regulations, 
  • Developing and implementing AML/CFT regulations, and pursuing FATF AML/CFT policy
  • Issuing directives to non-banking financial institutions that are not influenced by monetary policy.

Enforcement: Where the RBI finds violations of its rules and regulations it has the authority to carry out enforcement actions against the offending companies. These actions normally take the form of financial penalties. 

Compliance Training: The RBI also offers training to banks and financial institutions to help boost compliance performance. It currently maintains three internal training establishments, the RBI Academy, the College of Agricultural Banking, and the RBI Staff College, but liaises with a number of autonomous training institutions.

AML and CFT: Reserve Bank of India Policy

As a global and regional financial leader, India is a member-state of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Accordingly, the RBI works to implement the AML/CFT policy set out in the FATF’s 40 Recommendations. To comply with RBI regulations on money laundering and terrorism financing, financial institutions in India should create an internal AML/CFT program which:

  • Takes a risk-based approach to AML/CFT threats.
  • Integrates KYC and other customer due diligence measures.
  • Screens for adverse media, international sanctions, and politically exposed persons (PEP).
  • Appoints a suitable AML compliance officer to oversee the program.

In order to inform financial institutions of its rules and regulations, the RBI maintains a communication policy built around principles of transparency, comprehensiveness, relevance, and timeliness. The RBI disseminates information through its official website as part of a pre-announced schedule and encourages feedback from financial institutions.

Get Started Now

Meet and Exceed the Expectations of Global Regulators Now.



Share your thoughts and start a conversation.

Leave a Reply

Related articles:

June 22, 2014

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

The FATF's role in the prevention of financial crime The Financial Action Task Force, or FATF,…
Read More
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network FinCen
June 24, 2014

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

Why The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Is An Important Institution "FinCEN was the first financial…
Read More
Focused image of a globe
June 27, 2014

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Overview of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) The United Nations Office…
Read More
HM Revenue and Customs
July 4, 2014

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

The important role of HM Revenue and Customs It is common knowledge that HM Revenue…
Read More
July 13, 2014

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)

AUSTRAC's Role In The Fight Against Financial Crime What Is The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis…
Read More
Brazilian flag with high rise buildings in the background
July 13, 2014

Council for Financial Activities Control (COAF)

The Council for Financial Activities Control's (COAF) fight against financial crime What is The Council…
Read More
Wolfsberg Group
July 15, 2014

Wolfsberg Group

Overview of the Wolfsberg Group The Wolfsberg Group, an association of 13 global banks, is…
Read More
Egmont Group Of Financial Intelligence Units
July 15, 2014

Egmont Group

Overview of the Egmont Group Of Financial Intelligence Units The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units…
Read More
Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera
July 15, 2014

Mexican Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera (UIF)

The Mexican Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera (UIF) Created in 2004, the Mexican Unidad de Inteligencia…
Read More
Monetary Authority Singapore
July 10, 2018

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) What is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)? The…
Read More
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
July 11, 2018

Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)

Regulations in Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority What is the Hong Kong Monetary…
Read More
Asia Pacific Group APG
August 17, 2018

Asia Pacific Group

The Asia Pacific Group (APG) What Is The Asia Pacific Group (APG)? The Asia Pacific…
Read More

To make sure you get a great experience on our website, we use cookies. To confirm you consent to this, please click below. Read more about our Cookie Policy

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.