NRI banking: Over the last few years, there has been a high increase in the number of individuals moving to international lands for their jobs and businesses. Such individuals, popularly known as the Non-Resident Indians or NRIs often want to maintain a savings account or a fixed deposit account in their motherland India.
However, they can’t open an ordinary bank account like other Indian residents. Even the individuals who have a pre-existing account in India from the time when they used to reside in India need to convert their accounts into an NRI account. Also, it is considered illegal for a Non-Resident Indian to hold a residential bank account, and flouting this would attract heavy penalties.
What is an NRI account?
NRI account is a rupee account that can be opened by Non-Resident Indians to ease the process of transferring funds to India. The fund that is created in foreign currency is held in these accounts in Indian Rupees. Like normal bank accounts, the NRI accounts can also be held jointly by several NRIs. Besides, the NRI account holder can also issue a power of attorney in name of a resident family member for the time when he or she is away.
Depending on the necessity of the account holder, he or she can choose between an NRO and an NRE account.
Best Banks and Services in India for NRI Banking
Here is a list of 5 banks that provide the NRI account facility:
1. Standard Chartered NRE Account
Standard Chartered Bank provides easy tools to open NRI accounts and free access to funds in Indian Rupee and the account holders can easily convert the fund into foreign currency as per their convenience. This bank provides one of the best facilities for NRI account holders. The interest earned on the savings account can be fully repatriated and the account holder is also eligible for zero tax deduction on the interest. The bank also provides a globally valid Visa platinum debit card for its customers. Besides, they get higher boundaries for ATM withdrawals and on the purchases made via debit card.
2. Axis Bank NRE Account
Axis Bank is one of the most extensive private banks in India. Axis Bank’s NRE Savings Account enables individuals to authorize an Indian resident to administer banking transactions on his or her behalf when the latter is absent. The Welcome kit comes with a checkbook and a Domestic-Titanium debit card. This debit card is designed to meet the requirements of the non-residential Indian. However, this facility comes with certain terms and conditions. The bank also offers INR 2 lakhs free accidental coverage on the debit card.
NRIs are supposed to maintain a monthly average balance (MAB) of INR 10,000 at any branch of the bank in India. The account holder can earn an interest of 4 percent per annum a savings account balance of 50 lakhs and above, an interest of 3.5 percent on a balance of less than INR 50 lakhs daily. This is paid every quarter. The account holders can access their account through the secure internet banking service as well as via mobile application from any corner of the world.
3. SBI NRE Account
SBI is the largest Public Sector Bank of India and is present in a large number of countries abroad. Unlike the NRE bank accounts provided by other banks, it allows customers to open an account with zero balance. However, it is advisable to add the fund to the account to avoid penalties on non-maintenance. The holder shall maintain a minimum account balance of INR 3000, 2000, and 1000 has to be maintained for Urban, Semi-Urban, and Rural branches respectively. The rate of interest is payable based on the closing balance for the day. An interest of 4 percent is applicable in case the closing balance is greater than INR 1 crore and of 3.5 percent if the balance is less than INR 1 crore.
4. Citibank NRE Account
Citibank India relates to the foreign branches of Citibank in India. This bank is one of the most popular banks among the NRIs. It provides its users with a wide range of products and services in the banking sector. The initial deposit amount for opening an NRE account in Citibank is USD 5000 for the USA and Canada. This amount varies from country to country. The bank provides a free platinum debit card to all its NRE account holders and the interest is calculated on the closing balance for the day at the rate of 3.5 percent. The interest earned by the users is credited to their account twice a year, one in March, and the other in September.
5. Bank of Baroda NRE Savings Account
Bank of Baroda is commonly called India’s International Bank. This bank has a worldwide presence with branches in the UAE, China, the USA, and many more countries. It provides interest at a rate of 4 percent on the daily balance and the users can avail the facility of free remittance anywhere in the country. It also provides free issuance of a demand draft, a checkbook, and a banker’s cheque on opening a bank account as an NRI. Other services provided by this bank include free ATM cards, free custodial services, internet, and mobile banking facilities, and many more.