The Banking Regulation Act, 1949 is a legislation in India that regulates all banking firms in India. Initially, the law was applicable only to banking companies. But, 1965 it was amended to make it applicable to cooperative banks and to introduce other changes.
The Act provides a framework using which commercial banking in India is supervised and regulated. The Act supplements the Companies Act, 1956. Primary Agricultural Credit Society and cooperative land mortgage banks are excluded from the Act.
The Act gives the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) the power to license banks, have regulation over shareholding and voting rights of shareholders; supervise the appointment of the boards and management; regulate the operations of banks; lay down instructions for audits; control moratorium, mergers and liquidation; issue directives in the interests of public good and on banking policy, and impose penalties.
In 1965, the Act was amended to include cooperative banks under its purview by adding the Section 56. Cooperative banks, which operate only in one state, are formed and run by the state government. But, RBI controls the licensing and regulates the business operations. The Banking Act was a supplement to the previous acts related to banking.