Thursday, January 21, 2010

Demand Passbook from ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank for your SB Account

Republic of the Philippines , one of populated country in South East Asia. While I was preparing for a Business VISA for Philippines, I observed that Philippines Visa guidelines are more stringent than US Visa guidelines! Well…they strictly demands bank statement of applicant for last 6 months and other dozens of documents.
Now, my salary account is with ICICI Bank, Aundh Branch, Pune. I used to receive quarterly statement of my savings bank account from ICICI Bank, but the flag was suddenly changed to Annual from 2009-2010. When I ringed Customer Care for statement of last 6 months, they offered two options – 1) Statement by courier – 7 days- free of charge 2) Statement by hand –immediately-at any ICICI Branch at a cost of Rs.100+taxes.
Since I am a heavy internet banking user of ICICI Bank, I really never cared for original statement. I strongly felt unethical business practice of ICICI Bank to force customer to BUY statement of account. I spoke with my brother who is a Vice President at a private bank and he hinted that Reserve Bank of India may have issued a circular which mandates all banks (private as well as nationalized) to issue a Pass book free of any charge. I googled around and found a master circular issued by Reserve Bank of India addressing to all scheduled commercial banks.
I then went to ICICI Bank, Bhandarkar Road Branch and again got offer from the officer as mentioned above. When I quoted Para 5.6.1 of master circular number -RBI / 2009-10 / 57 dated 1st July, 2009 issued by Reserve Bank of India, which reads as below –
“5.6.1 Issuance of Passbooks to Savings Bank Account holders (Individuals) 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.”

The officer surprised and with no argument went to stationery room and inaugurated the Pass-Book Box. To the best of my judgment, I was the first customer to ask for Bank Pass book from ICICI Bank – Bhandarkar Road Branch.
The Pass book of ICICI Bank is indeed very stylish and very useful to maintain. Pictures are pasted here for your curiosity.

First Page contains name and adress. Cover Page...pocket size file-folder.

Do not hesitate refer above circular reference and get your bank passbook.
Advantages of Bank Pass Book -
  1. You need to maintain one document only.
  2. Your dependency on courier to receive monthly/quarterly statements reduces as you can update passbook anytime.
  3. Free of Cost under RBI regulations
  4. Easy to store and carry.
  5. Can also serve as Address Proof.
Only Limitation is that you may need to visit Bank once in a quarter (depending on volume of your transactions) to update the passbook.
Humble request to all to take opinion poll on this subject.


Disclaimer: Writer of the blog do not intend to assault ICICI Bank and/or any of its branch. In fact he is a happy customer of ICICI Bank Ltd. This blog post only intend to remind readers/bank customers for their right to receive Bank Passbook free of cost. Any wrong interpretations and inappropriate actions taken on the basis of this blog post is the sole responsibility of reader.


  1. Its nice. always we need to have this. Passbooks are good address proofs and we dont loose track of transactions and statements.

  2. 2 days ago I was at ICICI and lady told me it costs Rs 110 for statement, I came home and unsubscribed statement by email.
    I just emailed ICICI and quoted circular reference, asked for passbook & free monthly statements.

  3. Hello Ambarish,
    Do I have to go to the Branch where my account is or I can get a passbook in any Branch.
    I have account at ICICI-Bund Garden Road Branch, can I get passbook at Bhandarkar Road Branch. Actually I was told by ICICI to go to Bund Garden Road Branch for Passbook

  4. Hi Ajay,

    I had account with Aundh Branch, but got the passbook at Bhandarkar Road branch.
    Technically, ICICI Bank Bhandarkar Road Branch may ask you to visit to your Base Branch( Bund Garden Branch).
    I am happy to see u benefitted from this provision of RBI.

  5. Hi Ambarish
    I work for th business newspaper Mint and was writing an article on statements vs passbooks and while searching for material came upon your blog. Can I quote your experience? The article should come next Friday, pg 21 of Mint Money.


  6. Hi Ambarish
    I posted a comment yday but it hasn't appeared. I write for MINT business paper. Am writing an article on stmt vs. passbook next week. So I d like to quote your experience in ICICI Bank as an example. DO reply if it s ok with you.

    Vandana Vasudevan

  7. Hey guys!
    i have a salary account in HDFC bank, bangalore. sometime back i went to bank and demanded for the passbook but they told they dont provide passbook for the salary account. Today i thought of checking the same on net and found this blogpost. So i wanted to know is this RBI guidelines applied to salary accounts also. As they told me for normal account they r providing the passbook but not for salary account

  8. yes gS...
    You can take print out of extract of RBI guideline shown above and get your passbook for savings bank account.
    This is applicable to Salary account as well.

  9. Thanks ,Information indeed very usefull

  10. i have lost my icici bank passbook and account number. please tell me how will i get a new passbook !

    1. You can request for a duplicate Passbook it is issued against Rs.100/- you are supposed to give atleast the Customer Id to them along with photo ID

  11. pls suggest... what are the documents required to apply for an pass book in ICICI bank(salary account)

  12. it is very nice ambrish...but why this banks are doing like this...passbook is the real proof.

  13. what is the cost of new hdfc passbook

  14. hi Ambarish, thanks for the update, the HDFC bank people are ready to wage a war if i ask them for a passbook.. i need a passbook for my passport renewal and despite telling them, they are giving me jackshit as if i have asked Barrack Obama's number

  15. Thanks Ambarish, was nice and informative

  16. I went today to Icici bank in Bangalore apparently my account is of guwahati Assam they said I cannot get a passbook and I need to go to my base branch.. is this a correct information