Banking sector is fundamental for the economy to thrive. Customers in banks are required to sign at multiple places right from the issue of cheques to remitting cash into a Savings Bank Account. There might be changes in signature due to multiple reasons – an individual could have changed their name, they might want to create a new pattern in their signature etc. Circumstances of change of signature are highly subjective and should be analyzed on a case-to-case basis. In such cases the bank has to be informed in advance. Else, there will be a mismatch between the records of the bank and the new signature. This might lead to advantageous situations for tricksters who will make money out of the situation. This submission discusses about the procedure to be adopted for changing one’s signature in the bank records.
Procedure to Change Signature in Bank Records:
Each bank has their own procedure to be followed by the customer in order to change their signature in bank records. These days, the procedure is available online along with the application form in the respective websites.
For instance –
- ICICI Bank requires their customers to make changes as follows – https://www.icicibank.com/managed-assets/docs/nri/forms/signature_change_request.pdf
- HDFC Bank requires their customers to fill in the following application form to update signature change – https://www.hdfcbank.com/assets/pdf/change_of_signature.pdf
- CitiBank requires their customers to fill in the following form – https://www.online.citibank.co.in/citi-nri/pdf/Change-of-signature-form.pdf
These applications need to be submitted to the branch where the customer has an account with the bank. It can be given in person or can be mailed along with the relevant photocopies of required documents.
The conventional method involves writing a letter to the Branch Manager inter alia informing about the change of signature, reason for such change and old and new signature specimens.
The following is the format of such a letter –
From (Name and Address)
To (Branch Manager, Branch Name, City)
Subject: Request to Change the Signature
I (your name) hold a savings bank account in your branch, identified by Account number: xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx (your account number). Due to personal reasons I intend to change my signature for all personal and official purposes. I have provided my old signature in this letter, along with which I have also provided 3 specimens of my new signature.
In case you need my specimen signature in your printed forms, I would visit your branch and comply upon on receipt of such a document.
Until then I kindly request you to change my signature in my bank account for all future transactions. You can find the photocopy of my bank passbook and ID proof enclosed with this letter. Kindly do the needful and communicate accordingly.
Thank You (Your name)
Caution with Change of Signature:
A bank by itself will never ask its customers to change their signatures. If you happen to receive any hoax messages, seemingly from the bank, please report to the Branch Manager with sufficient evidence of such messages. Never share your signature with anyone.
Fraudsters or tricksters may change your signature by themselves and start operating your account – if not vigilant, this might go to the extent that your own signature may later be called as forged! If the signature on a cheque is not genuine, there is no mandate on the bank to pay.[i]
Hence, it is important to keep a watch on all the SMS and E-mail updates from the bank. If any suspicious activity is found, please report to the bank immediately.
The policy of each bank differs with respect to the name change signature form. In order to be more clear and sure it is suggested that the customer care of the bank is communicated. They will provide the exact details such as whether you are required to visit the branch or not, what are the ID Proofs required etc.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
[i] Canara Bank v. Canara Sales Corporation, (1987) 2 SCC 666.