RBI Relaxes PSB Bank Branch Audit Norms due to Coronavirus

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Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given relaxations to PSB banks with regard to the Bank branch audit for FY 2019-20.

Today the world is suffering the pangs of Novel Coronavirus aka COVID-19, which has caused widespread economic disruption. In India, the government has placed a lockdown till 17th May 2020. Now, this has hindered the ordinary businesses. Naturally, the businessmen are unable to fulfill their regular compliance.

The RBI has recently provided certain reliefs such as:

Now, RBI has eased the norms of the annual Bank branch audit for FY 2019-20.


Representation by ICAI to ease PSB Bank branch audit norms

With respect to the bank branch audit of the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) for FY 2019-20, a series of concerted efforts were made by the Professional Development Committee of ICAI. The representations highlighted the challenges faced by the statutory auditors in the online work of bank branch audit during COVID-19 lockdown. 

An interactive meeting was held by Central Statutory Auditors of 85 firms with President & Vice President, ICAI to compel the government to ease PSB Bank branch audit norms.


Relaxations in PSB Bank branch audit FY 2019-20

RBI has given certain reliefs in the norms of the PSB bank branch audit for FY 2019-20 due to the on-going spurt of COVID-19. These are discussed below-


#1. Long Form Audit Report Due date Extended

On 9th April 2020, the due date was extended with respect to submission of LFAR and all other audit report certificates till 31st July 2020.


#2. Advisory for effective Bank Branch Audit

On 13th April 2020 RBI issued an Advisory to approximately 35,000 firms eligible for Bank Branch Audit, to initiate the process of Statutory Bank Branch audit remotely to ensure timely and effective Bank Branch Audit. The said advisory was also shared with all Central Statutory Auditors for their information.


#3. Extension of date of Bank Branch Allocation details

The date for submission of branch allocation details to RBI has now been extended from the earlier conveyed date of 30th April 2020 to 15th June 2020.


#4. Banks under the Ambit of Bank Branch Audit

As per the modified guidelines of statutory branch audit of PSBs, the RBI has stated that the PSB branch audit shall cover 90% of all funded and 90% of the non-funded exposures of the commercial bank.


#5. Banks out of the Ambit of Bank Branch Audit

The modified RBI guidelines suggest that the statutory branch audit of PSBs shall exclude around 15% of the PSB branches from the ambit.

These are some relaxation as regards the PSB bank branch audit for FY 2019-20.


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