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Date: 01/07/2009
Master Circular on Board of Directors - UCBs

UBD.CO. BPD (PCB) MC.No. 8 /12.05.001/2009-10

July 1 , 2009

Chief Executive Officers of
All Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks

Dear Sir/Madam,

Master Circular on Board of Directors - UCBs

Please refer to our Master Circular UBD.BPD (PCB) MC. No. 8 /09.08.000/ 2008-09 dated July 1, 2008 on the captioned subject (available at RBI website The enclosed Master Circular consolidates and updates all the instructions / guidelines on the subject up to June 30, 2009.

Yours faithfully,

Chief General Manager-in-Charge

Master Circular - Board of Directors


Constitution of Board of Directors
2 Role of Directors on the Board of Directors – Dos’ and Don’ts
3 Audit Committee of the Board-…
4 Calendar of Reviews – Matters to be placed before the Board of Directors
5 Loans and advances to Directors -
6 Payment of fees and allowances to Directors-

Annexure 1 - Recommendation made by the Madhava Das Committee on Urban Co-operative Banks in regards to board of director

Annexure 2   Review to be submitted to the board of directors of primary (urban) co-operative banks


Master Circular

Board of Directors


1.1  The primary (urban) co-operative banks have been functioning under the supervision and control of Reserve Bank for banking related functions in terms of the powers vested in it, under Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (As applicable to co-operative societies) and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

1.2  However, the administrative and managerial functions, elections and appointment of directors, etc. of these banks come under the purview of respective State/Central Government by virtue of the provisions of the respective state co-operative societies act and multi state co-operative societies act.  The various co-operative societies acts, the by-laws framed there under and model by-laws spell out the duties, functions and obligations of directors of these banks. 

1.3   Since the directors are elected from amongst the members (except co-opted and nominated directors), the persons who are not eligible for admission even as members cannot act as promoters or become directors of the bank.  In particular, persons engaged in money lending, financing and investment activities, either in individual capacity or as proprietor/partner/employee/director of any concern as also those convicted of any criminal offences including moral turpitude are ineligible in terms of clause b (ii) of the model by-law no.9 and/or the provisions contained in the co-operative societies act (concerned).  The Board of Directors (BODs) is primarily concerned with the formulation of policies keeping in view the guidelines issued by RBI and state/central government.  The Board should also exercise overall supervision and control over the functioning of the bank, leaving day to day administration to the chief executive officer.

1.4  The recommendations made by the “Committee on Urban Co-operative Banks”, headed by Shri Madhava Das, regarding the BODs and recommended by Reserve Bank for adoption by the banks are indicated in Annexure 1.

1.5  The directors of primary (urban) co-operative banks must be knowledgeable and persons of high integrity.  They must function in a cohesive manner and provide proper leadership for the smooth and efficient management of the affairs of the bank.  This calls for a certain degree of professionalism in the BODs.

1.6   To ensure professionalism in the Board, the banks should have atleast two directors with suitable banking experience (at middle/senior management level) or with relevant professional qualification in the fields of law, accountancy or finance. The banks should also have a suitable provision in their bye-laws to ensure this. However, these instructions would not be insisted upon in case of Salary Earners Banks in view of the nature of their membership.


2.1 The BODs of the primary (urban) co-operative bank should ensure that proper loan policies are adopted and followed. 

2.2 It should be ensured that all circulars and other material relating to policies issued by RBI/Government are seen by every member of the Board and also placed before the Board for suitable action.

2.3 A list of DOs and DON’TS for guidance of the directors of primary (urban) co-op. banks is given below.  The list is illustrative and not exhaustive and is not to be regarded as a substitute to the specified duties, responsibilities or rights of the Board of Directors as enunciated in the co-operative law and/or by-laws of the respective banks.


(a)  Discipline & Involvement : The directors should :

(i)  attend the board meeting regularly and effectively.  They should work in a spirit of co-operation.

(ii)  study the board papers thoroughly and use the good offices of the chief executive officer for eliciting any information at the Board Meeting.

(iii) ask the chairman to furnish the board papers and follow up reports on a definite time schedule.

(iv) be familiar with the broad objectives of the bank and the policy laid down by the Government and the Reserve Bank.

(v)   involve themselves thoroughly in the matter of formulation of general policy and also ensure that performance of the bank is monitored adequately at board level.

(b) Constructive & Development Role : The directors should :

(i)  welcome all constructive ideas for the better management of the bank and for making valuable contribution.

(ii)  try to give as much of their wisdom, guidance and knowledge as possible to the management.

(iii)  try to analyse the trends of economy, assist in the discharge of management’s responsibility to public and formulation of measures to improve customer service and be generally of constructive assistance to the bank management.

(iv)  work as a team and not sponsor or be prejudiced against individual proposals.  Management on its part is supposed to furnish full facts and complete papers in advance.

(c) Business Specific Contribution

The directors should bestow attention on the following aspects of the bank’s working:

  1. compliance with monetary and credit policies of RBI/Government
  2. observance of cash reserve and statutory liquidity ratio
  3. efficient management of funds and improving profitability
  4. compliance with guidelines on income recognition, asset classification, provisioning towards non performing assets.
  5. deployment of funds to priority sector/weaker sections
  6. overdues and recovery – ensure that recoveries are made promptly and overdues reduced to the minimum.
  7. review of action taken on RBI inspection /statutory audit reports.
  8. vigilance, frauds and misappropriation
  9. strengthening of internal control system and housekeeping viz. proper maintenance of books of accounts and periodical reconciliation.
  10. reviews on several items as prescribed by RBI/Government
  11. customer service
  12. development of a good management information system
  13. computerization

(a)  Non-Interference : The directors should not:

(i)  interfere in the day-to-day functioning of the bank.

(ii) involve  themselves in the routine or every day business and in the management functions.

(iii) send instructions/directions to any individual officer/employee of the bank in any manner.

(b)  No Sponsorship : The directors should not

(i) sponsor any loan proposal, buildings and sites for bank’s premises, enlistment or empanelment of contractors, architects, doctors, lawyers, etc.

(ii) approach or influence for sanction of any kind of facility. 

(iii) participate in the Board discussions, if a proposal in which they are directly or indirectly interested, comes up for discussions.  They should disclose their interest, well in advance, to the Chief Executive Officer and the Board.

(iv) sponsor any candidate for recruitment or promotion or interfere in the process of selection/appointment or in transfers of staff. 

(v) do anything which will interfere with and/or be subversive of maintenance of discipline, good conduct and integrity of the staff.

(vi) involve themselves in any matter relating to personnel administration – whether it is appointment, transfer, posting or a promotion or a redressal of individual grievances of any employee.

(vii) encourage the individual officer/employee or unions approaching them in any matter.

(c)  Confidentiality

(i)  The directors should not reveal any information relating to any constituent of the bank to anyone as, he is under oath of secrecy and fidelity.

(ii)  The directors are expected to ensure confidentiality of the bank’s agenda papers/notes.  The board papers may ordinarily be returned to the bank after the meeting.

(iii)  The directors should not directly call for papers/files/notes recorded by various   departments for scrutiny etc. in respect of agenda items to be discussed in the meetings.  All information/clarification that they may require for taking a decision should be made available by the executive.

(iv) A director may indicate his directorship of the bank on his visiting card or letter head, but the logos of distinctive design of the bank should not be displayed on the visiting card/letter head.

(v)  The directors should ensure that the bank’s funds are utilized in a proper and judicious  manner for the benefit of general members.


3.1  In order to ensure and enhance the effectiveness of internal audit/inspection as a management tool, an Apex Audit Committee should be set up at the board level for overseeing and providing directions to the internal audit/inspection machinery and other executives of the banks.  The committee may consist of the chairman and three/four directors, one or more of such directors being chartered accountant or having experience in management, finance, accountancy and audit systems, etc. 

3.2  ACB should review the implementation of the guidelines issued by RBI and submit a note thereon, to the board, at quarterly intervals.  The major duties/responsibilities of the ACB are given below:

(i)   it should provide direction and oversee the operations of the total audit function in the bank.  The total audit function will imply the organization, operationalisation and quality control of internal audit and inspection within the bank and follow up on the statutory audit of the bank and inspection of the Reserve Bank;

(ii)  it should review the internal inspection/audit function in the bank – the system, its quality and effectiveness in terms of follow up.  It should review the follow up action on the internal inspection reports.  It should also specially focus on the follow up on:

(a) inter – branch adjustment accounts
(b) unreconciled long outstanding entries in inter-branch accounts and inter-bank accounts
(c)  arrears in balancing of books at various branches
(d)  frauds and
(e) all other major areas of housekeeping

(iii) compliance with the statutory audit /concurrent audit /RBI inspection reports;

(iv)  omission on the part of internal inspecting officials to detect serious irregularities should be viewed seriously; and

(v)  periodical review of the accounting policies/systems in the bank with a view to ensuring greater transparency in the bank’s accounts and adequacy of accounting controls.


It has been emphasized in the list of Dos’ and Don’ts for the Board of Directors (para 2) that directors should bestow their attention on the periodical reviews on important aspects of bank’s working.  An illustrative list of the reviews which should receive the attention of the directors as also the periodicity at which these may be placed before the Board of Directors is indicated in Annexure 2.


5.1 Primary (urban) cooperative banks are prohibited to make, provide or renew either secured or unsecured loans and advances or extend any other financial accommodation to their directors, or their relatives and the firms/concerns/companies in which they are interested with effect from 1 October 2003. The existing advances may be allowed to continue upto the date when they are due.

5.2 The following categories of director related loans are exempted from the purview of the above instructions.

  1. Regular employee-related loans to staff directors on the Board of UCBs;
  2. Normal loans as applicable to members to the directors on the Boards of salary earners’ co-operative banks and
  3. Normal employee-related loans to Managing Directors of Multi-State co-operative banks.
  4. Loans to Directors and their relatives against Fixed Deposits and Life Insurance Policies standing in their own name.

5.3  The words ‘any other financial accommodation’ shall include funded and non-funded credit limits and underwritings and similar commitments, as under:

(a)  The funded limits shall include loans and advances by way of bills purchase/discounting, pre-shipment and post-shipment credit facilities and deferred payment guarantee limits extended for any purpose including purchase of capital equipment and acceptance limits in connection therewith sanctioned to borrowers and guarantees by issue of which a bank undertakes financial obligation to enable its constituents to acquire capital assets.

(b)  The non-funded limits shall include letters of credit, guarantees other than those referred to in paragraph (a) above, and underwritings and similar commitments.

5.4  A person shall be deemed to be relative of another, if and only if,:-

a) they are members of a Hindu Undivided Family; or

b) they are husband and wife; or

c) the one is related to the other in the manner indicated below:

List of relatives
            1.  Father
            2.  Mother including step-mother
            3.  Son including step-son
            4.  Son’s wife
            5.  Daughter including step-daughter
            6.  Daughter’s husband
            7.  Brother (including step-brother)
            8.  Brother’s wife
            9.  Sister (including step-sister)
            10. Sister’s husband


All expenses on the conduct of Board meetings etc. may be shown against item 3 of P&L Account.  Such expenses would include amounts actually paid to the directors and Local Committee members as also amounts spent on their behalf for attending such meetings.


Master Circular
Boards of  Directors

A.  List of Circulars consolidated in the Master Circular


Circular No.




UBD. PCB. Cir. No. 41 / 09.103.01/2007-08


Professionalisation of Managements of Urban Cooperative Banks


UBD.PCB.Cir. No. 16/09.103.01/2007-08


Professionalisation of Managements of Urban Cooperative Banks


UBD.PCB.Cir.No. 32/13.05.000/06-07


Loans and advances to directors, relatives and firms/concerns in which they are interested  -UCBs




Loans and advances to directors, relatives and firms/ concerns in which they are interested


UBD.BPD.CIR 54/13.05.00/2002-03


Prohibition on loans & advances to directors and their relatives


UBD.BPD.CIR 50/13.05.00/2002-03


Prohibition on loans and advances to directors and their relatives


UBD.BPD.CIR 36/09.06.00/2002-03


Audit Committee of Boards of Directors




Professionalisation boards of directors of primary (urban) co-operative banks




 Audit Committee of Board of Directors




Calendar of reviews - Matters to be place Board of Directors operative Banks


UBD.No.I &L.(PCBs)39/12.05.00/96-97


Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (AACS) - Section 29 - Submission of Annual Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Account - Payment of Fees and Allowances to Directors




Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (As applicable to Co-operative Societies) - Section 29 - Submission of Annual Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Account - Payment of Fees and Allowances to Directors




Calendar of reviews - Matters to be placed before the Board of Directors of primary (urban)  co-operative banks




Overseeing the internal audit function in banks Setting up of Audit Committee of Boards




Board of Directors of primary (urban) co-operative banks - Professionalisation and their role - Do's and Don'ts

B.      List of Circulars addressed to Registrar of Co-operative Societies


Circular No.





Supersession of Board of Directors of Primary co-operative banks



Report of the Committee on licensing of New Urban Co-operative Banks Amendments to State Co-operative Societies Act



VIII Meeting of the Standing Advisory Committee for Urban Co-operative banks – Follow-up Action



Supersession of Board of Directors - Appointment of Panel of Administrators



Report of the committee on urban co-operative banks

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