Learn all about an FCNR account with RBL Bank: how to open an account, interest rates, currencies supported, and how to transfer funds.
Federal Bank offers FCNR accounts within its NRI services. Learn more about how these unique term deposits work, the features of an FCNR account at Federal Bank and how to open one.
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An FCNR, or Foreign Currency Non-Resident, account is a term deposit. This means that you deposit a lump sum of money, and it earns interest over a specified amount of time. What is unique is that the money is held in a foreign currency. An FCNR account allows account holders to avoid volatility in the Indian rupee exchange rate while earning interest in India. FCNR accounts are available at many Indian banks for Non-Resident Indians.
Federal Bank offers FCNR accounts in 10 different foreign currencies, unlike other Indian banks that may offer five or six currencies. However, instead of an online application that many banks offer, you will need to contact Federal Bank to open an FCNR account.
Whether you have an existing account with Federal Bank or are a new customer, there are two main ways to open an FCNR account:
- Through a request for a call-back
Check out the section later in this article on who can open an FCNR account to ensure you are eligible. Resident Indians can not open an FCNR account but can open an RFC account instead.
Federal Bank does not offer an online application for NRIs to open an FCNR account. Instead, you will need to complete the Request a Call Back form online. The form will ask you for the following:
- Your name
- Existing Federal Bank account number (if applicable)
- Resident country
- Mobile number
- Preferred branch in India
Once you have submitted the form, a Federal bank representative will reach out to you to walk you through the process.
If you are visiting India, you can stop by your preferred Federal Bank branch to open the account in person. And don't worry, an account can be opened at any Federal Bank branch. Make sure you have your documents with you and a money transfer method, both of which are covered later in this article.
NRIs can open a Non-Resident External (NRE) or Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account online using the Federal Bank website.¹
Attractive interest rates on FCNR accounts can be the main reason to open one. But the interest rate depends on the currency the account is held in and for how long. And some terms may or may not be available depending on the currency.
Here are the current FCNR interest rates at Federal Bank organized by currency:
|1 year to less than 18 months||5.25%||4.00%|
|18 months to 2 years||5.25%||4.00%|
|2 years to 3 years||4.65%||3.75%|
|3 years to 4 years||4.50%||3.75%|
|4 years to 5 years||4.00%||3.50%|
|1 year to 2 years||1.00%||0.20%||3.50%||3.50%|
|2 years to 3 years||1.00%||0.20%||3.50%||3.50%|
|3 years to 4 years||1.00%||0.20%||3.25%||3.00%|
|4 years to 5 years||0.50%||0.10%||3.25%||3.25%|
|1 year to 2 years||0.42%||0.33%|
|2 years to 3 years||0.84%||0.72%|
|3 years to 4 years||0.78%||0.74%|
|4 years to 5 years||0.78%||0.65%|
|1 year to 2 years||0.05%||0.05%|
Rates checked on April 36, 2023.²
- Rates may differ for amounts above $250,000.
- Federal Bank has the right to change interest rates.
- Federal Bank has the right to change the availability of terms and currencies.
To officially open and earn interest on an FCNR account, you must fund the deposit. In most cases, the money will need to come from outside India and in the currency selected - except for in one case.
Here is how to transfer funds to Federal Bank to open an FCNR account:
- Online money transfer: online money transfer service providers make it convenient to transfer money directly from your bank account to India. They often provide quick delivery of the funds too. But shop around and compare transfer fees and exchange rates between providers to get the cheapest transfer.
- Wire transfer: most banks worldwide are part of the SWIFT international bank network, making it possible to transfer funds globally. Often a bit slower and more expensive than other options, it can be completed from your resident bank.
- In-person deposit: If you happen to be visiting India, you can stop by any Federal Bank branch to make a deposit in foreign currency notes or by personal or traveller cheque.
- Transfer from an NRE: If you have an existing NRE account, you can transfer the rupees to an FCNR account. The money is converted at the prevailing rate at Federal Bank. This is the only acceptable way to fund an FCNR account with Indian rupees in India.
- Transfer from an existing FCNR account: If you already have an FCNR account in India, you can transfer it from another bank to fund a new one at Federal Bank. This makes the most sense if you get a higher interest rate than at your current bank.
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There are many benefits to opening an FCNR account. The top reasons to open one are that you can earn higher interest rates on a deposit than back home and not have to convert your money into Indian rupees.
Here are additional features and benefits of opening an account with Federal Bank:³
- Federal Bank offers a large variety of currencies.
- You can choose 1.5-year terms for US dollar accounts.
- Principal and interest can be transferred back to your resident country.
- Earnings are tax-free in India.
- The account can be used as security for a loan.
- You can take rupee advances against 75% of the rupee equivalent amount of the account.
You can use these features to compare FCNR account offerings amongst Indian banks.
You can only open an FCNR account at Federal Bank if you are an NRI (Non-resident Indian). Non-resident Indians are Indian citizens who reside outside the country for over 182 days a year.⁴
Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders are also eligible to open an FCNR account in India.
Federal Bank does not list the necessary documents to open an FCNR account. If you are looking to open an account, check directly with your Federal Bank representative for the complete list of documents you will need. Generally, it includes copies of your passport, work or residence permit, address proof, and more.
Federal Bank has one of the largest varieties of currencies for an FCNR account, but keep in mind that not all are available for all term lengths. Here are the currencies available at Federal Bank:
- US dollars
- British pounds
- Japanese yen
- Canadian dollars
- Australian dollars
- New Zealand dollars
- Hong Kong dollars
- Singapore dollars
- Swiss francs
Sources used for this article:
- Foreign Currency Deposits | FCNR Rates & Calculator
- Interest rates
- Foreign Currency Deposits | FCNR Rates & Calculator
- Non-Resident Indian
Cover photo by Maxwell Ridgeway on Unsplash.
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