What is a Bank Passbook ?

What is a Bank Passbook ?

A passbook or bankbook is a paper book used to record bank transactions on a Saving/Current/Cumulative/ deposit account, apart for the Cash Credit Accounts.

A Bank Passbook can also be used to record Loan Transactions, as the borrower need to have a singular record for payment of his dues.

Depending on the country or the financial institution, it can be of the dimensions of a chequebook or a passport.

In our country, prior to computerizations the dimensions of a Bank Passbook were that of a Passport.

As computerization moved in, the dimensions of a Bank Passbook migrated to that of a Cheque Book.

It is another story, that Banks are comfortable with Statement of Accounts, rather than Bank Passbooks.

The reasons as I see are : –

01) No proper Computer Hardware Support.

02) Customer regularly misshape the Bank Passbook, which makes it impossible for Computer hardware to handle them.

Reserve Bank of India, in its Master Circular on Customer Service, has laid down guidelines for Issuance of Bank Passbook.

An extract


5.6 Statement of accounts / Pass Books

5.6.1 Issuance of Passbooks to Savings Bank Account holders (Individuals)

– – 12 – – DBOD-MC on Customer Service 2009

A passbook is a ready reckoner of transactions and is handy and compact and as such, is far more convenient to the small customer than a statement of account. Use of statements has some inherent difficulties viz.

(a) these need to be filed regularly

(b) the opening balance needs to be tallied with closing balance of last statement

(c) loss of statements in postal transit is not uncommon and obtaining duplicates thereof involves expense and inconvenience

(d) ATM slips during the interregnum between two statements does not provide a satisfactory solution as full record of transactions is not available and

(e) there are a large number of small customers who do not have access to computers / internet etc.

As such, non-issuance of pass-books to such small customers would indirectly lead to their financial exclusion.

Banks are therefore advised to invariably offer pass book facility to all its savings bank account holders (individuals) and in case the bank offers the facility of sending statement of account and the customer chooses to get statement of account, the banks must issue monthly statement of accounts. The cost of providing such Pass Book or Statements should not be charged to the customer.


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