BANKING - 2019 FEBRUARY

February 1

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank launches Ujjivan Bank Kisan Suvidha loan for small and marginal farmers
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB) announced the launch of Ujjivan Bank Kisan Suvidha loan to offer financial credit services to small and marginal farmers.
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank launched the product in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka and Odisha with an eye to expand the product offerings.
It provides loans to individuals with an amount ranging from Rs. 60000 to Rs. 2 Lakh to fulfill the customized needs of the mass market segment.
3 Public Sector Banks Freed From PCA Framework
Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce have been allowed to exit the PCA framework fully.
The three lenders were part of 11 government-owned banks put under the framework in 2017 and 2018.
In December, the government had announced a capital infusion of Rs 10,000 crore for Bank of India, Rs 5,500 crore for Oriental Bank of Commerce and Rs 4,500 crore for Bank of Maharashtra, which helped the banks coming out of the framework.

February 2

Lendbox receives NBFC-peer-to-peer (P2P) certification from RBI
Delhi based P2P Lending platform, Lendbox had received its NBFC- Peer-to-Peer (P2P) certification from the RBI.
NBFC-P2P is a new class of NBFCs, for non-banking institutions which carry on the business of peer to peer lending in adherence to the guidelines released by RBI
Lendbox began operations in November 2015 and is one of India’s largest P2P Lending platforms with almost 200,000 registered users and a loan book size of almost 40 crores.

February 4

Indian Banking Association issues advisory to banks to waive off processing and all other service charges for Kisan Credit Card and crop loans up to three lakh rupees.
The Indian Banking Association has issued advisory requesting banks to waive off the processing, documentation, inspection and all other service charges for Kisan Credit Card and crop loans up to three lakh rupees.
Agriculture Ministry said in a release that there are over 21 crore small and marginal farmers in the country and providing them timely and affordable credit is the key to attaining inclusive growth.
The Kisan Credit Card Scheme aims at providing adequate and timely credit support from the banking system to the farmers to meet the short term credit requirements for cultivation and allied activities.

February 5

Pallavan Grama Bank and Pandyan Grama Bank merged to form TN Grama Bank
Two Regional rural banks (RRBs) Pallavan Grama Bank and Pandyan Grama Bank will be merged to form Tamil Nadu Grama Bank as per the Finance Ministry notification.
The new Tamil Nadu Grama Bank will be under the sponsorship of Indian Bank with head office in Salem.
Originally the Pallavan Grama Bank was sponsored by Indian Bank and Pandyan Grama Bank by Indian Overseas Bank.
ADB Buys 14% Stake In Annapurna Finance
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has bought a 14% stake in micro-financier Annapurna Finance for Rs 137 crore, reinforcing the belief that India’s microfinance sector is on course to attracting long-term funds from global lenders and investors. 
ADB’s investment in the Bhubaneswar-based Annapurna is an equity expansion, while a few of the existing investors such as Oman India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF), Oikocredit and Bamboo Finance Partners raised their holding in the MFI through secondary market deals totaling Rs 75 crore, Dibyajyoti Pattanaik, director at Annapurna Finance.

February 6

RBI Penalised a total of Rs. 5.2 Crore on Axis Bank, UCO Bank and Syndicate Bank for violation of norms.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Tuesday said it has imposed a total penalty of Rs. 2.2 crore on private sector lender Axis Bank in two separate cases.
A penalty of Rs 2 crore has also been imposed on UCO Bank and Rs. 1 crore on Syndicate Bank for violation of norms.

February 7

IBA issued advisory to waive off various charges for Kisan Credit Card
The Indian Banking Association (IBA) has issued advisory guidelines requesting banks to waive off the processing, documentation, inspection, ledger folio charges and all other service charges for Kisan Credit Card /crop loans upto 3 lakh rupees.
The Kisan Credit Card scheme aims at providing adequate and timely support from the banking system under a single window.
These guidelines came to highlight as nominal amount of charges were collected by some schedule commercial banks for agriculture loans.Government will launch campaign through various financial institutions for financial inclusion with spontaneous effect to farmers.
Kisan Credit Card aims to provide adequate and timely monetary help from banks to farmers to meet short term credit requirement for agriculture purposes.
Fino Payments Bank Partners With Suryoday SFB To Offer Sweep Account Facility
Fino Payments Bank (FPB) has announced the launch of a sweep account facility in association with Suryoday Small Finance Bank (SSFB).
This partnership will help FPB address the issue of deposit limits that all the payment banks face at the moment.
As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), payment banks can only take deposits upto Rs. 1 lakh per account.

RBI raises collateral-free farm loan limit to Rs. 1.6 lakh
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)raised the limit of collateral-free agricultural loans to Rs. 1.6 lakh from the current Rs. 1 lakh with a view to help small and marginal farmers.
RBI has also decided to set up an internal working group to review agricultural credit and arrive at workable policy solution.
Keeping in view the overall inflation and rise in agriculture input costs since then, it has been decided to raise the limit for collateral-free agriculture loans from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.6 lakh.
RBI imposed a penalty of Rs. 1 crore fine on Union Bank of India
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs. 1 crore on it for delay in exchange of information regarding the conduct of the borrower's account with other lenders.
The penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
The amount of the penalty is not material considering the size of the Bank.

February 8

NTPC inks Rs. 2,500 crore loan pact with HDFC Bank
State-run power giant NTPC has signed an agreement with HDFC Bank for a Rs. 2,500 crore loan to part finance capital expenditure.
The loan is extended at an interest rate linked to the three-month marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) of the bank.
The loan agreement was signed by A K Gautam, Executive Director (Finance), NTPC and Raveesh Bhatia, Regional Head.
The loan has a door-to-door tenure of 15 years and will be utilized to part finance the capital expenditure of NTPC.

February 9

RBI penalized Rs 1 crore on State Bank of India
Reserve Bank of India has slapped Rs 1 crore penalty on SBI for not monitoring the end use of funds in respect of one of its borrowers.
The fine by the RBI is slapped on SBI under section 47 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

SBI reduced home loan interest rate by 5 basis points
RBI reducing repo rate by 25 basis points, the country’s largest lender State bank of India announced a cut in interest rates by 5 basis points on its home loans up to Rs 30 Lakh stands at 8.70%.
Sixth bi monthly monetary policy review announced RBI had cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25%.
PSU Banks bad loans decline to Rs. 8,64,433 crore in April-Dec FY19
Bad loans of public sector banks declined by more than Rs 31,000 crore to Rs 8,64,433 crore in the first nine months of the current fiscal as compared to end of March 2018.
Non Performing Assets (NPAs) or bad loans of the banks stood at Rs 8,95,601 crore at the end of previous fiscal.
NPAs declined as a result of the government’s 4Rs strategy of recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reforms.

February 10

Asian Development Bank raised $100 million in international market
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised 5.22 billion pesos ($100 million) from its maiden issue of Philippine peso-linked bonds in the international market.
The four-year bonds pay a fixed interest rate of 5.25 percent and will be settled in U.S. dollar.
J.P. Morgan was the sole lead manager and bonds were fully placed with institutional investors in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
ADB is an international development finance institution and a regional development bank with a motto to fighting poverty in Asia and the Pacific.

RBI slaps Rs. 1.5 crore fine on Allahabad Bank for fraud reporting delay.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed on Allahabad Bank penalty of Rs. 1.5 crore for not monitoring end use of funds, delay in classification and reporting of fraud and non-adherence with RBI guidelines during restructuring of accounts in respect of one of its borrowers.

February 11

Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts set to cross Rs 90,000 crore 
The deposits, which have been steadily rising since March 2017, have already reached Rs. 89,257.57 crore as on January 30, and are steadily rising. The deposits stood at Rs. 88,566.92 crore on January 23.
Average deposit in these accounts was about Rs. 2,615, compared with Rs. 1,065 on March 25, 2015.
Total deposits in Jan Dhan accounts are set to cross Rs. 90,000 crore with the government making the flagship financial inclusion programme more attractive especially by doubling accident insurance cover to Rs. 2 lakh.

February 12

RBI MSME package to help recast 1 lakh crore loan for 700k accounts
The Reserve Bank's restructuring package for small businesses announced last month will help recast Rs. 1 trillion of loans for 7,00,000 eligible micro, small and medium enterprises.
All can be restructured till March 2020 without downgrading the asset. Rs 1 trillion worth loans will get restructured.
The scheme announced by RBI is a one-time scheme where in a loan tenor and interest rate can be revised without classifying the asset as an NPA.
The facility is available for standard advances of up to Rs. 25 crore only.
NTPC Signs Pact With SBI For Rs. 5000 crore Term Loan
State-owned power giant NTPC has signed a term loan agreement for Rs. 5,000 crore with State Bank of India.
The loan facility is extended at an interest rate linked to 3-Month MCLR of the Bank. This loan has a door to door tenure of 15 years and will be utilised to part finance the capital expenditure of NTPC.

February 13

RBI imposes penalty on seven banks for violation of norms
The RBI has imposed penalties on seven lenders, including Allahabad Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, HDFC and Kotak Mahindra Bank, for violation of various banking norms.
A penalty of Rs. 1.5 crore has been imposed each on Allahabad Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and Indian Overseas Bank and Rs. 1 crore on Andhra Bank for non-compliance with various directions issued by RBI on monitoring of end-use of funds, exchange of information with other banks, classification and reporting of frauds, and on the restructuring of accounts.
The central bank also imposed a monetary penalty of 20 lakh each on HDFC Bank, IDBI bank and Kotak Mahindra bank for non-compliance with various directions issued by the RBI on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms/ Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards.

February 15

Yes Bank cleared of Divergence charges imposed by RBI
The Reserve Bank of India cleared Yes Bank of Divergence charges i.e. disparity in reporting bad loans and provisioning numbers for the year ended March 2018.
RBI assesses compliance by banks with extant prudential norms on income recognition, asset classification and provisioning (IRACP) as part of its supervisory processes

India signed a legal agreements with the World Bank
The Government of India, Government of Himachal Pradesh (GoHP) and the World Bank signed $40 Million Loan Agreement to help bring clean and reliable drinking water to the citizens of the Greater Shimla area, who have been facing severe water shortages and water-borne epidemics over the last few year.
The Shimla Water Supply and Sewerage Service Delivery Reform Programmatic Development Policy Loan 1 is expected to improve water supply and sanitation (WSS) services in and around the iconic hill city of Shimla.
The World Bank DPL will support SJPNL in its policy and institutional reform program as it launches three critical operations to improve WSS services in the state capital:
(i) Bringing bulk water to Shimla from a new source on the Sutlej River
(ii) 24x7 Water Supply and Sewage Management for Shimla City
(iii) Sewage services for peri-urban areas.
The $40 Million Loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 4-year grace period and a maturity of 15.5 years.

RBI imposed monetary penalty on 3 banks
TheRBI has imposed a monetary penalty of 1.50 crore on Oriental Bank of Commerce and Rs. 1 crore each on Bank of India and Punjab National Bank.
The penalty has been imposed on the banks for non-compliance with various directions issued on monitoring of end use of funds, exchange of information with other banks, classification and reporting of frauds, and on restructuring of accounts.

February 16

Amazon launched 'Amazon Pay UPI' in collaboration with Axis Bank for Indian android users
Amazon has launched Amazon Pay UPI for Android customers in India. Amazon Pay has partnered with Axis Bank to issue UPI IDs to its customers who can now link their bank accounts on their Amazon mobile app.
Amazon Pay UPI feature will help users pay for their purchases, bills and recharges easily without the need of inputting a CVV, OTP and net-banking details.
The company states that this will help its users make fast, easy and secure payments directly from their bank account.

February 17

J.P. Morgan creates first US bank-backed crypto-currency
US investment bank JP Morgan has created a crypto-currency to help settle payments between clients in its wholesale payments business.
JPM Coin is the first digital currency to be backed by a major US bank.
The crypto-currency, which runs on blockchain technology, has been used successfully to move money between the bank and a client account.
JPM Coin is not for retail customers. It will be used internally by the bank to enable instant transfers of payments between institutional accounts.

Edelweiss, Bank of Singapore sign MoU for strategic partnership
Edelweiss Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bank of Singapore to form a strategic partnership to provide clients of both entities the opportunity to access their respective product platforms.
This is the first time that an Indian wealth manager of Edelweiss' size and stature is partnering with an offshore private bank," Edelweiss Financial Services said in a BSE filing.
Shares of Edelweiss Financial Services were trading 2.94% lower at Rs. 123.80 apiece on BSE.
Edelweiss Group is an investment and financial services company based in Mumbai (Bombay). It is not backed up by any major conglomerate.

February 19

SBI to waive loans taken by slain CRPF personnel to expedite insurance payments
The State owned lender expedite payment of insurance amount of Rs. 30 lakh each to the families of CRPF personnel killed.
SBI bank announced a special initiative for the CRPF soldiers who were martyred in a dreadful terrorist attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir.
23 soldiers had also availed loans from SBI and the bank has decided to waive off all the outstanding loans with immediate effect.

February 20

HDFC ERGO launches 'Trip Protector' policy
HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, India’s third-largest non-life insurance provider in the private sector, today announced the launch of ‘Trip Protector’ insurance policy, a pioneering policy in the non-life insurance segment in India.
In case of a cancellation, either a flight or hotel booking, Trip Protector insurance policy will safeguard travellers financially against the cost of cancellation levied by Hotels or Airlines.
In such an unfortunate situation, the ‘Trip Protector’ Insurance policy by HDFC ERGO will cover the cancellation of pre-booked flights and hotels for domestic as well as international travel.
The policy will allow customers to choose between refundable and non-refundable tickets. Refundable tickets shall be paid for in case of cancellation.
The policy is initially being offered to customers of HDFC Bank on the purchase of Airline tickets or Hotel Bookings done using their individual HDFC Bank credit cards.

RBI warns users against this app that can steal your money from bank account
RBI has released a warning regarding an app called AnyDesk.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is warning all the online banking users against this fraudulent app stating that the app could first steal all your banking details and then all your money from the bank account.
The Any Desk app works like a remote access service that takes control of your device and does transactions on users’ behalf. Reportedly, the app can detect all your OTPs which mean it can siphon off all your money from bank account in minutes.
RBI alert message, all the online banking users are at risk but the UPI users are more vulnerable to it.
Once a fraudster inserts this app code on his device, he will ask the victim to grant certain permissions, which are similar to what are required while using other apps.

February 22

Srei Equipment, Syndicate Bank to jointly provide equipment financing under co-lending arrangement
Srei Equipment Finance Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Srei Infrastructure Finance, has tied up with state-owned Syndicate Bank to jointly provide financing for construction and farm equipment.
Under the arrangement, Syndicate Bank would leverage on its low-cost funds and co-lend equipment loans with Srei at a mutually agreed rate.
The partnership has been done under the aegis of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) circular dated September 21, 2018 that permits banks to engage with Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) to co-originate loans for the creation of priority sector assets.

Merger of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda to be effective from April 1
Bank of Baroda said the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with itself would be effective from April 1 as per the scheme of amalgamation approved by the government.
The board of the bank fixed March 11, 2019, as record date for issuing and allotting equity shares of the Bank of Baroda to the Shareholders of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank.
The scheme has been named as 'Amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda 2019’. As per the Scheme of Amalgamation, shareholders of Vijaya Bank will get 402 equity shares of BoB for every 1,000 shares held. In case of Dena Bank, its shareholders will get 110 shares for every 1,000 shares of BoB.

February 24

Zimbabwe Starts Trading New Currency RTGS dollar
Zimbabwe began formal trading of what’s effectively a new currency as it tries to ease a shortage of dollars that’s crushed the economy.
The initial rate for the southern African nation’s currency, known as RTGS dollars, will be 2.5 per US dollar, central bank Governor John Mangudya told business leaders Friday in Harare, the capital. The rate was agreed with commercial lenders.
Mangudya announced that the government would no longer insist that a quasi-currency known as Bond Notes and RTGSdollars, an electronic equivalent, were worth the same as the US currency. They’ve been merged and allowed to trade freely on an interbank market.
The new currency replaces electronic bank savings called digital dollars and the bond notes and was named after the real-time gross settlement system that banks use to transfer money between each other.

BoB, KfW partners to fund solar projects.
Bank of Baroda has tied up with Germany’s KfW Development Bank have tied up to extend funding of 113 million dollars to Refinance solar power projects in India.
The funding will be done as part of the scheme Solar Partnership II Promotion of Solar PV in India under the Indo-German Solar Energy Partnership.
In 2015 Germany committed to provide financial support to solar power projects in India.

February 25

RBI formalised USD 75-billion swap pact with Bank of Japan
The Reserve Bank of India and the Bank of Japan have formalised the 75- billion dollars swap agreement, which would act as a cushion against any sharp swings in the local currency whenever the international financial markets turn volatile.
This arrangement would bring in greater stability to the foreign exchange and capital markets in India since it will enable the availability of 75-billion dollars in foreign capital for use as and when the need arises.

Rs. 300 crore Women’s Livelihood Bond launched by World Bank, UN and SIDBI
The World Bank, UN Women (a United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and empowerment of women), and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) have come together to launch a five-year tenor ‘women’s livelihood bond’ to raise Rs. 300 crore.
The proceeds from these social impact bonds, which will be unsecured and unlisted, will be used to help rural women in the country’s poorest States to set up or scale up their own enterprises.
The bonds, which will be raised by SIDBI with the support of World Bank and UN Women, will be placed with leading wealth managers and corporates in the country on private placement basis. The coupon rate on these bonds will be 3% per annum.

ICICI Lombard ties up with AnyTimeLoan.in
ICICI Lombard, a private general insurer, has entered into a strategic tie-up with AnyTimeLoan.in (ATL), a peer-to-peer lending platform, to provide insurance cover for the latter’s lenders and borrowers.
The Partnership aims to de-risk exposure of its lenders and borrowers arising from uncertainties such as accidents, critical illness, death, disability, loss of job among others.
ICICI Lombard will offer its proprietary policies - Group Secure Mind and Group Personal Accident - to the customers of AnyTimeLoan.in.
This will cover the borrowers of all types of loans facilitated on AnyTimeLoan.in with minimum policy term of one year to a maximum of three years.
The insurance cover for the lenders comes with free premium for the first year on a complimentary basis, as ATL will absorb this cost on behalf of the beneficiaries.

February 27

Syndicate Bank to bring down NPA in the current year
According to, Syndicate bank chairman and CEO Mrutyunjay Mahapatra has made a profit in the third quarter after loss in the previous quarters of FY 19.
He hoped for an early settlement of the Rs. 18,000 crore bad loans that are before National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
The bank is aiming at bringing down the cross NPA to below 12% and the net NPA to below 6% in the current year from the existing level of 12.5% and 6.5%.
The bank planning to launch employee share purchase scheme in the first week of March. The scheme offers share of the bank at a discount ranging from 23 to 25% with lower grade employees getting maximum discount. The bank is expecting to raise Rs. 500 to 600 Crore from the Process.
RBI Removes Allahabad Bank, Corporation Bank, Dhanlaxmi Bank From PCA
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken off Allahabad Bank, Corporation Bank and Dhanlaxmi Bank from the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework allowing them to resume their normal lending activities.
The Board for Financial Supervision (BFS) to review the performance of banks under PCA and noted that the government has infused fresh capital into various banks including some of the banks currently under the PCA framework.
The BFS noted that Allahabad Bank and Corporation Bank had received Rs 6,896 crore and Rs 9,086 crore respectively. This has shored up their capital funds and also increased their loan loss provision to ensure that the PCA parameters were complied with.
RBI to soon put into circulation Rs. 100 bank notes in new series
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) it would shortly put into circulation new-series Rs. 100 denomination bank notes bearing the signature of its Governor Shaktikanta Das.
All bank notes in the denomination of Rs. 100 issued by the RBI in the past will continue to be legal tender.
The design of these notes is similar in all respects to the Rs. 100 bank notes in circulation currently.

February 28

DCB Bank launches Open Banking for gen-next banking solutions
DCB Bank announced the launch of its Open Banking Platform, a significant step towards creating a collaborative ecosystem with enterprises, fintechs and app developers, and enhancing customer-service delivery.
Over 20 startups, fintechs, merchants, enterprises and developers will partner with DCB Bank for access to its Open Banking Platform APIs as well as collaboration on innovation and customer centric products.
The Open Banking Platform APIs will provide seamless integration of banking services by improving the existing banking technology infrastructure and at the same time meet the growing demand for innovative solutions from new-age customers.

IDBI Bank, LIC ink bancassurance pact
IDBI Bank and Life Insurance Corporation of India has signed a bancassurance agreement under which the lender will offer LIC’s insurance products at its branches.
IDBI Bank as a corporate agent of LIC would get a window to provide LIC’s entire gamut of insurance offerings to the bank’s Rs. 1.80 crore customer base spread over 1,800 branches across the country

ICICI Bank introduces super-premium credit card Emeralde
ICICI Bank has launched a super-premium credit card, the ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card, in two variants – American Express and Mastercard.
The Emeralde Credit Card is targeted at salaried customers with a minimum income of Rs. 3 lakh a month and self-employed customers with an annual income tax return of at least Rs. 30 lakh.
We are delighted to introduce a compelling proposition for the affluent Indian professionals and entrepreneurs, who travel globally extensively and have high lifestyle aspirations.

Kotak Mahindra Bank raises foreign investment limit
Kotak Mahindra Bank raised the limit on total shareholding of foreign institutional investors and foreign portfolio investors in the company to 45% from 43%.
The hike in the shareholding limit comes as the private-sector lender grapples with a central bank directive on reducing its Chief Executive Uday Kotak's stake in the bank.


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