The Reserve Bank of India

RBIThe Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.The Central Office of the Reserve Bank was initially established in Calcutta but was permanently moved to Mumbai in 1937. The Central Office is where the Governor sits and where policies are formulated.Though originally privately owned, since nationalisation in 1949, the Reserve Bank is fully owned by the Government of India.

The Reserve Bank’s affairs are governed by a central board of directors. The board is appointed by the Government of India in keeping with the Reserve Bank of India Act.

The Preamble of the Reserve Bank of India describes the basic functions of the Reserve Bank as:“…to regulate the issue of Bank Notes and keeping of reserves with a view to securing monetary stability in India and generally to operate the currency and credit system of the country to its advantage.”

RBI1Monetary Authority
  • Formulates, implements and monitors the monetary policy.
  • Objective: maintaining price stability and ensuring adequate flow of credit to productive sectors.
Regulator and supervisor of the financial system
  • Prescribes broad parameters of banking operations within which the country’s banking and financial system functions.
  • Objective: maintain public confidence in the system, protect depositors’ interest and provide cost-effective banking services to the public. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has been formulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for effective redressal of complaints by bank customers.
Manager of exchange control
  • Manages the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.
  • Objective: to facilitate external trade and payment and promote orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India.
Issuer of currency
  • Issues and exchanges or destroys currency and coins not fit for circulation.
  • Objective: the main objective is to give the public adequate supply of currency of good quality and to provide loans to commercial banks to maintain or improve the GDP(Gross Domestic Product).

RBI2The basic objectives of RBI are to issue bank notes, to maintain the currency and credit system of the country to utilize it in its best advantage, and to maintain the reserves. RBI maintains the economic structure of the country so that it can achieve the objective of price stability as well as economic development, because both objectives are diverse in themselves.

Developmental role
  • Performs a wide range of promotional functions to support national objectives.
Related functions
  • Banker to the Government: performs merchant banking function for the central and the state governments; also acts as their banker.
  • Bank to banks: maintains banking accounts of all scheduled banks

The Reserve Bank of India performs this function under the guidance of the Board for Financial Supervision (BFS). The Board was constituted in November 1994 as a committee of the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India.

Objective

Primary objective of BFS is to undertake consolidated supervision of the financial sector comprising commercial banks, financial institutions and non-banking finance companies.

Constitution

The Board is constituted by co-opting four Directors from the Central Board as members for a term of two years and is chaired by the Governor. The Deputy Governors of the Reserve Bank are ex-officio members. One Deputy Governor, usually, the Deputy Governor in charge of banking regulation and supervision, is nominated as the Vice-Chairman of the Board.

BFS meetings

RBI3The Board is required to meet normally once every month. It considers inspection reports and other supervisory issues placed before it by the supervisory departments.

BFS through the Audit Sub-Committee also aims at upgrading the quality of the statutory audit and internal audit functions in banks and financial institutions. The audit sub-committee includes Deputy Governor as the chairman and two Directors of the Central Board as members.

The BFS oversees the functioning of Department of Banking Supervision (DBS), Department of Non-Banking Supervision (DNBS) and Financial Institutions Division (FID) and gives directions on the regulatory and supervisory issues.