Stepping up its vigilance against use of banking channels by terrorists and criminals, the Reserve Bank on Monday asked banks to report any suspicious transactions to security agencies and guard against misuse of the system.
"Banks are advised to develop suitable mechanism...For enhanced monitoring of accounts suspected of having terrorist links and swift identification of the transactions and making suitable reports to the Financial Intelligence Unit-India on priority," the RBI said in communication to the bank chiefs.
The banking regulator also asked banks to scan all existing accounts to ensure that they are not linked to entities or individuals which figure in the list of suspected persons available on the website of the United Nations.
The directive from the RBI came after several security agencies had complained to the Finance Ministry that the banks were not reporting any suspicious transactions suo moto to them.
Asking the banks to review the risk profile of customers every six months, the RBI said that banks should update the identification data of low risk customers every five years and for customers in high and medium risk categories every two years.
To prevent entry of suspected persons into the banks, the RBI also directed the banks to put in place an "adequate screening mechanism" as an integral part of their recruitment and hiring processes.