What are currency chests? All you need to know


A security guard from a private company stole Rs 4.04 crore from the currency chest of Axis Bank located in sector 34 in Chandigarh on April 10 night. The accused has been nabbed but this robbery calls for an explainer on currency chests.

What are currency chests?

Currency chests are the rooms across selected branches of a bank where the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stocks the money reserved for ATMs and banks.

Currency chests, located on the premises of different banks, are authorized by RBI. The money in these chests belongs to the RBI.

There are 4,075 currency chests and 3,746-coin depots across the country. The RBI inspects these currency chests on a timely basis.

How is the money distributed across the country?

The RBI, with 31 offices across the country, receives the notes and coins post-printing.

The RBI then sends these notes to the currency chests of selected banks and coins to the coin depots of selected banks.

These notes and coins are distributed to other bank branches.

How is the loss recovered in case of a theft?

Per the set guidelines, the bank holding the currency chest is liable to recover the loss of cash. The bank will also have to submit a Fraud Monitoring Report (FMR) to the RBI.

What is the security system for these chests?

The security arrangements are the responsibility of the bank holding the currency chest.

The RBI reimburses the expenses incurred on maintaining the security personnel and transportation of cash for the chests.

About the Reserve Bank of India

The Reserve Bank of India, established in 1935, is the central bank of India.

It is the governing institution that works for implementing monetary policies, managing foreign exchange, issuing notes and coins in rupee currency, monitoring price stability, regulating the functioning of banking operations in the country, and maintaining the country’s credit system.

It is a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The first RBI Governor was Sir Osborne Smith, and the current RBI Governor is Shaktikanta Das.

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