Features and Benefits of an FCNR Account
17 Dec 2020

Features and Benefits of an FCNR Account

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Key Takeaways: As an NRI, you have several investment choices in India. One of them is a Foreign Currency Non-Resident (FCNR) deposit account for you to keep money in your desired currency. If you want to know more about the features and benefits of an FCNR account, please read on.

What is an FCNR (B) Account?

Foreign Currency Non-Resident - FCNR (B) Account is a fixed deposit account that you, as a Non-Resident Indian, can open in the currency of your current residence country. With this account, you can earn a fixed rate of interest until maturity. In case your residency status changes to resident Indian, you can continue to hold an existing FCNR (B) deposit until maturity, but at a contracted interest rate[1].

Why invest in an FCNR (B) deposit?

Since there is no change in the type of currency, the risks arising out of exchange rate changes are mitigated. This means that if you open an FCNR (B) deposit with USD 35,000, you can withdraw it (and the accumulated interest) in without conversion.

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Benefits of an FCNR Account are:

  • Multiple currencies: You can book an FCNR (B) deposit in a freely convertible foreign currency as designated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)[2]. As of now, you can book this deposit in 6 currencies like USD, GBP, AUD, SGD, CAD and HKD.
  • Flexible tenure: You can choose from tenures from 1 year up to 5 years.
  • No minimum or maximum limits: You can open an FCNR (B) deposit without limitations.
  • High liquidity: The deposit amount and the interest earned in this account are fully and freely repatriable.
  • Tax-free: Interest earned on FCNR (B) account is exempted from income tax in India.
  • Fixed interest rates: The interest rate remains unchanged throughout the tenure of the deposit. It is compounded on a half-yearly basis.[3].

Documents Required to Open an FCNR (B) Account[4]:

Here are the documents you will need to open an FCNR (B) account:

  • Copy of passport
  • Proof of residency status (PIO/OCI)
  • Overseas address proof
  • Indian address proof (optional)
  • Copy of PAN card

The FCNR (B) account replaced FCNR (A) accounts in 1993. To know more about the difference, click here.

Final Note: You can open an FCNR account in India to save money on taxes and get competitive interest rates. The funds are freely repatriable and you need not worry about currency conversion rates. In case of premature withdrawal, the RBI allows it; you will have to check with your bank on the procedure and charges.

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References: 1 2 3 4

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