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RBI regulations on green deposits

  • Published
    19th May, 2023

Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came up with a regulatory framework for banks to accept green deposits from customers. 

What are Green deposits?

  • Green deposits, although similar to regular deposits accepted by banks, have a notable distinction.
  • Banks commit to allocating the funds obtained from green deposits specifically for environmentally friendly initiatives.
  • This could involve utilizing the funds to finance renewable energy projects aimed at combatting climate change.
  • Green deposits represent a single offering among various financial products, including green bonds, designed to enable investors to contribute funds to promote ecological sustainability.

What does the RBI’s regulatory framework say?

  • Bank’s own rules: Banks need to come up with a set of rules or policies approved by their respective Boards that need to be followed while investing green deposits from customers.
  • Major sectors: The RBI has come up with a list of sectors that can be classified as sustainable and thus eligible to receive green deposits. These include renewable energy, waste management, clean transportation, energy efficiency, and afforestation.
    • Banks will be barred from investing green deposits in business projects involving fossil fuels, nuclear power, tobacco, etc.
  • Prevention of greenwashing: The new rules prevent greenwashing.
    • Greenwashing refers to making misleading claims about the positive environmental impact of an activity.
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