Clean Note Policy

Reserve Bank of India, vide Notification NO RBI/2012-13/500 DCM (NPD) No.5133/ 09.39.000/2012-13 dt.May 10, 2013, has reiterated its previous guidelines on ‘Clean Note Policy’.


Background: – In recent periods, instances of certain branches of banks continues to follow old practices like stapling, writing number of note pieces in loose packets on watermark window of notes disfiguring the watermark impression and rendering it difficult for easy recognition have come to RBI  notice.

Further, RBI  has also been observed that certain bank branches do not sort notes into re-issuables and non-issuables, and issue soiled notes to public. Such practices are against the “Clean Note Policy” of Reserve Bank of India.

Hence the following points are reiterated:

a) Banks should do away with stapling of any note packet and instead secure note packets with paper bands,

b) Banks should sort notes into re-issuables and non-issuables, and issue only clean notes to public; and,

c) Banks should forthwith stop writing of any kind on watermark window of bank notes.


In the common interest, bank customers too should also share the responsibility to ensure that Indian Bank Notes can be re-issued a number of times, before they are discarded. This would reduce the printing costs of Bank Notes, and would enable the economy to save money.


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