February 20, 2023
Pranjal Gupta

GST Exemptions In Banking Industry (Financial Services)

The introduction of GST in India has impacted every sector in the country, including the banking industry. The GST system is a unified tax system that is levied on goods and services across the country. The banking industry has been categorized under the services sector and is also subject to GST. However, there are certain exemptions and provisions that are applicable to the banking industry. This article will provide an overview of the GST exemptions in the banking industry.

Overview of GST

GST is an indirect tax that was introduced in India in 2017. It is a tax that is levied on goods and services at the point of consumption. GST has replaced multiple indirect taxes like excise duty, service tax, and value-added tax (VAT). GST is a destination-based tax, which means that it is levied at the place where the goods or services are consumed. The GST system is divided into three categories: Central GST (CGST), State GST (SGST), and Integrated GST (IGST).

The GST system has several benefits, such as reducing the cascading effect of taxes, increasing the tax base, and simplifying the tax system. However, it has also had an impact on the banking industry, as it is classified as a service sector.

GST Exemptions in the Banking Industry

The banking industry is subject to GST, but there are certain exemptions and provisions that are applicable to this sector. Here are some of the key exemptions:

  1. Interest on Loans and Advances: Interest on loans and advances is exempt from GST, which means that banks do not have to pay GST on the interest earned on loans and advances.
  2. Services to Basic Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) Account Holders: Services provided to BSBD account holders are exempt from GST. BSBD accounts are no-frills accounts that are offered by banks to facilitate financial inclusion.
  3. Outward Remittance: The charges for outward remittance of foreign currency are exempt from GST. Banks charge a fee for the transfer of funds from one country to another.
  4. Merchant Discount Rate (MDR): MDR is the rate that is charged by the bank for the processing of debit and credit card transactions. The government has capped the MDR rate at 0.5% for transactions up to Rs. 2,000 and 0.9% for transactions above Rs. 2,000. MDR is exempt from GST.
  5. Services Provided to RBI: Services provided to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are exempt from GST. Banks provide various services to the RBI, such as currency management and payment and settlement services.


The GST system has impacted every sector in India, including the banking industry. Banks are subject to GST, but there are certain exemptions and provisions that are applicable to this sector. The exemptions include interest on loans and advances, services provided to BSBD account holders, charges for outward remittance, MDR, and services provided to RBI. Banks need to be aware of these exemptions and ensure that they are compliant with the GST regulations.


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