Hyderabad: In a bid to provide relief to thousands of customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, India's largest lender, the State Bank of India, on 2 May announced that it will not ask customers to visit its branches to update their KYC (Know Your Customer) details.

It said it will permit acceptance of documents for KYC updates through mail or post in the wake of difficulties faced by customers due to local lockdown induced by the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

"In view of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases along with various lockdown in place in many states, it has been decided that KYC updation shall be carried out on the basis of documents received through post or registered email," SBI said in a tweet.

Customers will not be required to personally visit the branch to update KYC, it further said.

SBI will not freeze the accounts if KYC documents are not updated till 31 May, the bank assured, adding, "Partial freezing of CIFs due for KYC updation will not be done till 31 May 2021."

In a communication to the chief general manager of all its 17 local head offices dated 30 April, SBI said it has been advised to accept KYC update requests through mail or post without the physical presence of the customer in the branch in view of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections. The move is expected to be followed by other public sector lenders.

Periodic updates have to be carried out at least once every two years for high-risk customers, once eight years for medium-risk customers, and once every 10 years for low-risk customers.

The bank said that in no case should the customer be asked to personally visit the branch for KYC updation and added that the instruction should be applicable with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, SBI has also been conducting customer awareness campaigns on digital banking amid the pandemic. It is also involved in COVID-19 efforts and distributing hand sanitizers, masks, PPE kits, and ambulances.

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