24 April, Mumbai
In order to disseminate the information to the public relating to safe and secured investment, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has urged the commercial bankers to promote financial literacy and awareness among masses.
The RBI has been taking various steps in making the public beware of such dubious schemes and in promoting financial literacy and awareness among the general public about safe and secured investments. In this context, it is felt that the wide branch net-work of commercial banks could significantly supplement the RBI’s efforts, the apex bank said in a letter to all scheduled, commercial and local area banks.
The apex bank felt that the absence of financial education and no knowledge about the fraudulent schemes are the primary reasons for depositors falling prey to fraud schemes.”These episodes, apart from impacting the public at large, have repercussions on the banking sector, as the money that is misappropriated by these unscrupulous entities should have come to the banking system augmenting banks’ deposit base,” it added.
The RBI further said that the banks may in their own interest and as customer education effort in the interest of the public, consider designing suitable posters or pamphlets or flyers or notices containing messages like Never respond to unsolicited offers of money received through emails or phone or other media, no one really gives you money for free and be careful while investing in seemingly attractive schemes offering high returns.
Besides, it can also put the messages like don’t invest in unregulated companies and entities, don’t rely on hearsay – Check for yourself, high return means higher risk including potential loss of entire money Check your risk-appetite and take care of your money it is hard to earn but easy to lose.
The messages should be displayed or distributed in the bank branches in the official language of the state to enable easy notice by the customers. It also said that the places like Automated Teller Machines or Business Correspondent Points could also be used for wider visibility.
The development came after the RBI noticed that the customers receive telephone calls relating to their winning lotteries and prizes, asking them to deposit the money in an unknown account, following which the amount of lottery would be remitted to them or credited to the account they would advise.