Introduction - 

       The Banking Companies Act 1949 was passed to consolidate and amend the law relating to banking companies.  This Act came into force from 16 March 1949 and applied to the whole of India.  With effect from 1.3.1966, the name of the Act has been changed to the Banking Regulation Act 1949.

Prohibition of trading under the Banking Regulation Act 1949 - 

  Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 6 or in any contract no banking company shall directly or indirectly deal in the buying or selling or bartering goods, except in connection with the realisation of security given to or held by it or engage in any trade,or buy-sell or barter good for others otherwise than in connection with bills of exchange referred to in clause (i) of subsection (1) of Section 6 :

   Provided that this Section shall not apply to any such business as is specified in pursuance of clause (o) of sub-section (1) of Section 6.

   This section thus prohibits the banking company to engage any other business, other than those forms of business mentioned in Section 6(1)

 However, a bank can engage in trade activities only in regard to the realisation of security in order to recover the amount of loan and advances.

Section 6 of the Banking Regulation Act run as follows...

Form and business in which banking companies may engage (Section 6)- 

(1) In addition to the business of banking, a banking company may engage in any one or more of the following forms of business, namely: —

            (a) the borrowing, raising, or taking up of money; the lending or advancing of money either upon or without security; the drawing, making, accepting, discounting, buying, selling, collecting and dealing in bills of exchange, hoondees, promissory notes, coupons, drafts, bills of lading, railway receipts, warrants, debentures, certificates, scrips and other instruments and securities whether transferable or negotiable or not; the granting and issuing of letters of credit, traveller’s cheques and circular notes; the buying, selling and dealing in bullion and specie; the buying and selling of foreign exchange including foreign bank notes; the acquiring, holding, issuing on commission, underwriting and dealing in stock, funds, shares, debentures, debenture stock, bonds, obligations, securities and investments of all kinds; the purchasing and selling of bonds, scrips or other forms of securities on behalf of constituents or others, the negotiating of loans and advances; the receiving of all kinds of bonds, scrips or valuables on deposit or for safe custody or otherwise; the providing of safe deposit vaults; the collecting and transmitting of money and securities;

           (b) acting as agents for any Government or local authority or any other person or persons; the carrying on of agency business of any description including the clearing and forwarding of goods, giving of receipts and discharges and otherwise acting as an attorney on behalf of customers, but excluding the business of a managing agent or secretary and treasurer of a company;

         (c) contracting for public and private loans and negotiating and issuing the same;

        (d) the effecting, insuring, guaranteeing, underwriting, participating in managing and carrying out of any issue, public or private, of State, municipal or other loans or of shares, stock, debentures, or debenture stock of any company, corporation or association and the lending of money for the purpose of any such issue;

        (e) carrying on and transacting every kind of guarantee and indemnity business;

        (f) managing, selling and realising any property which may come into the possession of the company in satisfaction or part satisfaction of any of its claims;

        (g) acquiring and holding and generally dealing with any property or any right, title or interest in any such property which may form the security or part of the security for any loans or advances or which may be connected with any such security;

       (h) undertaking and executing trusts;

       (i) undertaking the administration of estates as executor, trustee or otherwise;

       (j) establishing and supporting or aiding in the establishment and support of associations, institutions, funds, trusts and conveniences calculated to benefit employees or ex-employees of the company or the dependents or connections of such persons; granting pensions and allowances and making payments towards insurance; subscribing to or guaranteeing moneys for charitable or benevolent objects or for any exhibition or for any public, general or useful object;

    (k) the acquisition, construction, maintenance and alteration of any building or works necessary or convenient for the purposes of the company;

         (l) selling, improving, managing, developing, exchanging, leasing, mortgaging, disposing of or turning into account or otherwise dealing with all or any part of the property and rights of the company; (m) acquiring and undertaking the whole or any part of the business of any person or company, when such business is of a nature enumerated or described in this subsection;

    (n) doing all such other things as are incidental or conducive to the promotion or advancement of the business of the company;

    (o) any other form of business which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify as a form of business in which it is lawful for a banking company to engage.

       (2) No banking company shall engage in any form of business other than those referred to in sub-section (1).

See Also...

Commercial Bank: Primary, Secondary and Modern Functions of Commercial Bank

Commercial bank: Agency Functions of Commercial Bank

Advantages and Disadvantages of Unit Banking system | Banking Law


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