aipeu puri

aipeu puri

Wednesday 19 November 2014

India Post says keen to become a universal bank

MUMBAI: India Post is interested in turning itself into a universal bank like many of its peers across the world and a committee under former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian is looking into the matter, a senior department official said today. 

"We still want to be a full-fledged bank. The government will decide whether they want to give to us or not," chief postmaster general, Maharashtra circle, 
Pradipta Kumar Bisoi told reporters here. 

"There is a committee under Subramanian which has been formed, they are going to give some recommendations, let's wait for the report to see whether we should go for a full-fledged bank or a payment bank," he said. 

However, Bisoi added that the department, which has been accepting deposits for many decades and mobilising savings, already works like a payment bank and wondered what is the difference between the work they have already been doing and a payment bank. 

"We are already doing (the work like) a payment bank, and I don't know what is the difference between what we are doing now and what is a payment bank," he stressed. 

The comments come amidst increasing speculation about the department being considered for a licence under the soon-to-be introduced 'payments banks' category, rather than as a full- fledged or universal bank with a complete bouquet of offerings. 
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan today said the RBI will invite applications for payment and small banks by the end of the month. 

It can be noted that at the time of granting full-fledged licences to infra lender 
IDFC and micro-lender Bandhan in April after a 12-year hiatus, the RBI had left it to the government to decide on the aspirations of the postal department, which was also one of the over two dozen applicants.

Payment bank rules by month-end, telcos, India Post remain frontrunners: RBI

MUMBAI: India Post and mobile companies have a good chance of getting a payments  bank licence, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which is expected to  come out with detailed guidelines by the end of the month. Besides, successful   microfinance  institutions may get a chance to migrate to commercial banking.

The  state-run India Post was denied a licence in the first round of the recent  licencing scheme. "We visualise mobile companies, but also companies with a  large rural presence... maybe shops, maybe kiosks, but as well as possibly post  office that would come into the payment bank licencing scheme," Raghuram Rajan,  governor, RBI, said at a conclave on microfinance organised by agricultural
lender Nabard.

The guidelines are now with the government for comments.  "In the weeks to come, we will put out guidelines on new entities called payment banks,  which will basically offer accounts to the excluded," Rajan said.

RBI also expects to give licences to small finance banks. Instead of having  local area banks focussed on two or three districts, there are suggestions that  there should be all-India small finance banks which are focused on small lending  though they would be allowed to accept deposits. "This licence would offer  avenue... should allow successful microfinance institutions to migrate towards a  banking licence without abandoning the core business of working with the small  and the excluded," the governor  said. Rajan, however, warned the microfinance lenders against usurious lending  practices and was also critical of the loan waiver practices of certain state  governments.

Several entities, including Nabard, have expressed interest  in setting up banks. "We would be keen to look at it closely and consider it as  an option if the guidelines permit," said Nabard chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala.

Nabard is keen to seek a banking licence through its subsidiary NABFINs, a non-banking finance company with a  focus on the bottom of the pyramid.

"We still want to be a fullfledged  bank. The government will decide whether they want to give to us or not," said  Pradipta Kumar Bisoi, chief postmaster general of Maharashtra circle, at an  event in Mumbai.