BANKING - 2018 SEPTEMBER

September 1

SBI hikes benchmark lending rate by 0.2%.
Home, auto and other loans would become costlier as the country’s largest lender, State Bank of India, has increased its benchmark lending rate or MCLR by 0.2 per cent, a development followed by other lenders.
SBI has increased the lending rate by 20 basis points across all tenors up to three years. Now SBI’s overnight and one-month tenor marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) stands at 8.1 percent as against 7.9 percent, as per the bank’s website.
MCLR for a one-year tenor has been increased to 8.45 percent from 8.25 percent. Most of the retail loans are benchmarked against one-year MCLR. MCLR for a three-year tenor has been increased to 8.65 percent from 8.45 percent.

World Bank approves Rs 929.89 crore for Shimla’s water supply project.
The World Bank has approved in principle a financial assistance of Rs 929.89 crore for a water supply and sewerage project for the state capital.
The final negotiation meeting for loan sanction will be held on October 24. The assistance will be made as a development policy loan.
There are six sources of drinking water supply to Shimla town with a total water supply capacity of 54 million litres per day (MLD). These included Gumma and Giri.
IANS that Shimla faced one of its worst water crises for weeks in June, sending locals on the warpath and forcing tourists to cut short their stay.

Modi launches India Postal Bank with a message to loan defaulters.
Giving a political twist while launching the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that not a single big loan defaulter was given loan by the NDA government and all were before 2014, with support of ‘one family’.
Four-five years back, majority of funds with banks was reserved only for those close to one family. Our own government brought the truth of the NPA, the scam of the previous government in front of the country. We not only detected the disease, but also searched for the cause and took several important steps to repair the disease.
The Indian Postal Department has 1.5 lakh post offices and more than three-lakh postmen are related to the people of the country, and the government is taking the initiative to create the most powerful system of service in the 21st century by connecting such a comprehensive network with technology.

UIDAI relaxes minimum Aadhaar enrolment targets, related deadlines for banks.
In a breather to banks, the UIDAI extended till November 1 the deadline for banks to do minimum Aadhaar enrolments and updations in identified branches.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has asked banks to ensure that at least eight enrolments or updations are carried out daily in each stipulated branch from November 1, 2018, to avoid financial disincentives to be applicable from July 2018.
On June 1, the UIDAI had stipulated bank branches with Aadhaar facility will have to ensure at least eight enrolments or updations in each branch daily from July 1, 2018, 12 per day per branch from October 1 and 16 from January 1, 2019 onwards.

September 2

ICICI banks hiked MCLR after SBI by 15 basis points.
ICICI increased its benchmark lending rates or MCLR by 0.15 per cent. These changes are effective from September 1, 2018.
This made home, auto and other loans would become costlier. It comes after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiked benchmark lending rate called repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 per cent.
The RBI had last raised the repo rate on June 6 by 0.25 per cent to 6.25 per cent. That increase was the first since January 28, 2014, when rates were hiked by a similar proportion to 8 per cent.

September 3

SBI opens e-facilitation facility for army veterans in Bengal.
Major General A.K. Sanyal, General Officer Commanding, Bengal Sub-area, inaugurated State Bank of India (SBI)'s e-facilitation and e-corner facility for Indian army veterans at the Army Complex near Fort William.
The key feature will be bank's Central Pension Processing Centre (CPPC) representative working in close coordination with the officer responsible for welfare of veterans under Bengal Sub-area headquarters to facilitate the process of resolution of pension cases which affects a large segment of pensioners.
It also a unique facility for fast-tracking pension issues by "on the spot" resolution of pension-related grievance of veterans/ veer naris/ next of kin. The facility also caters cash drawal and automated passbook updation.

September 4

For the first time in 9 years, RBI buys 8.46 tonne of gold.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has bought 8.46 tonne of gold in financial year 2017-18, the first purchase of yellow metal by the apex bank in almost nine years.
The RBI held 566.23 tonne of gold as on June 30, 2018, compared with 557.77 tonne as on June 30, 2017, as per the RBI’s latest annual report for 2017-18. The increase is on account of addition of 8.46 tonne of gold during the year.
Last time the apex bank purchased gold was in November 2009, when it had bought 200 tonne of yellow metal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Of 566.23 tonne of gold reserves, 292.30 tonne is held as backing for notes and is shown as an asset of the Issue Department, and the balance 273.93 tonne is treated as an asset of the Banking Department.

September 5

ADB unveils new tool to boost access to trade finance.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched its first Trade Finance Scorecard, a new tool to address market gaps stemming from the unintended consequences of global measures to fight money-laundering and terrorism.
Preventing criminals and terrorists from exploiting the global financial system is critically important.
But these regulations can also undermine jobs and growth at small businesses and developing countries. This new scorecard will open a channel of dialogue among stakeholders to help prevent crime and terrorism while financing growth and job creation.
The ADB Trade Finance Scorecard focuses on issues related to the interpretation, implementation, and compliance with regulations designed to curb money laundering and the financing of terrorism in the context of correspondent banking and trade financing.

Asia Index launches S&P BSE Private Banks Index.
Asia Index Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between S&P Dow Jones Indices and BSE Ltd, announced the launch of an index designed to measure the performance of private banks.
The S&P BSE Private Banks Index is drawn from the constituents of the S&P BSE Finance Index, the Asia's oldest exchange.
Only common stocks classified as Banks by the BSE Sector Classification model and that are not classified under the BSE scrip category as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) are eligible.
The S&P BSE Private Banks Index is designed to provide market participants with a transparent and rules-based benchmark that measures the performance of private banks listed in India. The index is calculated in Indian Rupees and US Dollar and is calculated real-time by BSE.

September 6

Karnataka Bank to raise Rs. 800 crore.
The board of directors of Karnataka Bank has approved the proposal for augmenting the bank’s capital.
The board of directors approved the proposal for augmenting the capital funds of the bank through issue of non-convertible lower tier-II subordinated bonds to the tune of Rs. 800 crore in one or more tranches under private placement basis.

YES Bank’s SIMsePay to let feature phone users make payments.
Private lender YES Bank has developed a solution that will help feature phone users make payments even in the absence of internet network.
The solution, SIMsePay (meaning pay through SIM), has been developed by YES Bank, and allows a customer to make payments with the help of a SIM card and a sticker through a secured SMS technology.
SIMsePAY is a revolutionary frugal innovation, which has the potential to truly transform the financial inclusion agenda of our country. Given the stupendous success of the JAM trinity, almost every family has a phone and an account.
Of the 1.2-billion phone users, a majority of these continue to be feature phone users. SIMsePay provides the power of financial transactions and payments to make the feature phones smart.

September 7

Airtel Payments Bank users can now withdraw card-less cash at ATMs across India.
Airtel Payment Bank’s savings account holders will now be able to withdraw cash from ATMs with their mobile phones instead of using debit or credit cards. For this Airtel has partnered with Empays to enable Instant Money Transfer for account holders to withdraw cash from over 20,000 IMT enabled ATMs in India.
The IMT service can be accessed by account holders via USSD (*400#) and MyAirtel app. Airtel notes that the card-less cash technology can be used for self-withdrawal or for sending money to an intended recipient for ATM cash withdrawal. Airtel Payments Bank users can generate a cash withdrawal request through USSD or MyAirtel app.
To generate cash withdrawal via a USSD, what an account holder can do- head to any IMT-enabled ATM and dial *400*2# from the registered Airtel mobile number. Following this select 1 “Cardless cash withdrawal” and then “ATM self-withdrawal.” Enter the IMT amount, followed by mPIN and cash will be dispensed.
For generating cash through MyAirtel app, simply enter the mobile number in the IMT-enabled ATM and then enter the sender code that you will receive via SMS. Enter the OTP (one-time password) and Select 1 “ATM self-withdrawal.” After this, enter the IMT amount and cash will be dispensed.

Vijaya Bank raises MCLR by 0.05% on select maturities.
State-owned Vijaya Bank has hiked marginal cost based lending rates (MCLR) by 0.05 per cent for select maturities, following industry peers. The bank has revised the MCLR with effect from September 7, 2018, Vijaya Bank a regulatory filing.
The one-year MCLR, against which consumer loans are benchmarked, has been raised to 8.70% from 8.65% earlier. Among others, six, three, one month and overnight MCLRs will attract 0.05 per cent higher interest each in the range of 8.60-8.05%.
It has kept the MCLRs unchanged for three year and two year loans at 9.25 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively. Last week, industry leader SBI had increased the lending rate by 20 basis points or 0.20 per cent across all tenors up to three years.
SBI's MCLR for a one-year tenor has been increased to 8.45 per cent from 8.25 per cent. ICICI Bank and Bank of Baroda too have raised their MCLRs.

Indian Overseas Bank gets RBI nod for call option on bonds worth Rs 655 crore.
Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has received RBI nod to exercise call option on bonds worth Rs 655.30 crore.
The Reserve Bank has accorded approval for exercise of call option on the bonds aggregating to Rs 655.30 crore as per the terms of the issue.
The call option is scheduled to be exercised on September 17. In a call option, the issuer of the bond can redeem the instruments before its maturity.
The bank will pay interest on the bonds and not exercise call option but upon subsequent consultations with the RBI, it decided to exercise it owing to impact on capital adequacy.

September 8

IRDAI head rues low insurance reach, hints at sandbox for untested products.
With the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate touted to be the one fastest in the world, projected at 7.4 per cent for FY2019 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), there is ample room for expansion of the insurance industry.
Insurance products are not being sold effectively to the younger generation and how insurance companies are lagging behind in terms of creating awareness.
Penetration is the biggest issue.
Overall insurance penetration in India stands at 3.69 per cent of GDP as compared to the world average of 6.2 per cent of GDP. For life insurance, penetration in India stands at 2.76 per cent of GDP as compared to the world average of 3.33 per cent of GDP.

Corporation Bank approves capital infusion of Rs. 2,555 crore.
The extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of shareholders of Corporation Bank has approved a special resolution to issue equity shares on preferential basis to the Centre.
This will help the government infuse up to Rs. 2,554.99 crore into the bank. The bank informed the stock exchanges that the EGM of shareholders has approved a special resolution to issue 86, 90, 47,619 equity shares at an issue price of Rs. 29.40 per share to the government on preferential basis.
The meeting also approved a special resolution to issue up to 10 crore equity shares of face value Rs. 2 each at a premium to the employees of the bank under the 'Corporation Bank Employee Stock Purchase Scheme' (CorpBank-ESPS) in one or more tranches, as per the provisions of SEBI.
The scrip of Corporation Bank closed at Rs. 26.95 on the BSE, up 1.13 per cent, against the previous close of Rs. 26.65.

September 9

RBI notifies amended note refund rules.
Watch out when you accept a disfigured, mutilated or terribly soiled Rs 2000 or Rs 200 currency note. If the note is slightly damaged, it may be exchanged at full price; but if the damage is high, it may fetch just half the price. Or nothing at all.
The Reserve Bank of India has released new guidelines through a gazette notification for all notes which were introduced post note ban, or notes which were introduced as part of the Mahatma Gandhi New Series.
The RBI has ended the lack of clarity over the exchange of the Rs 2000 or Rs 200 currency notes, introduced post demonetisation. Till now, there were clear rules for the value of soiled, damaged or mutilated Rs. 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 notes, but the public was facing problems with the exchange of damaged Rs 200 and Rs 2000 notes as the rules for their exchange were yet to be amended.
The Reserve Bank of India (Note Refund) rules earlier only specified currency notes of Rs. 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 denomination. The Rs. 2000 and 200 (issued in November 2016 and September 2017 respectively) could not be governed by the old rules due to their difference in size.

Axis Bank bets on Chaudhry’s vast experience.
Private sector lender Axis Bank has appointed Amitabh Chaudhry, Managing Director and CEO of HDFC Life Insurance, as its Managing Director and CEO following a long search and selection process.
Chaudhry’s innings at Axis Bank, comes at a time when the private sector lender is still under a lot of strain and is trying to re-invent itself with a focus on retail lending and digital banking.
The lender reported a profit of Rs. 701 crore in the first quarter of the fiscal after reporting its first ever net loss of Rs. 2,188.74 crore in the quarter ended March 31, 2018. Its gross non-performing assets amounted to Rs. 32,662.40 as on June 30, 2018, or 6.52 per cent of gross advances.

September 10

LIC launches group insurance scheme for CDSL demat account holders.
Life Insurance Corporation of India has signed an agreement with Central Depository Services (India) to provide group insurance coverage to all eligible demat account holders serviced through depository participants associated with it.
The facility will be available to demat account holders between the age of 18 years and 59 years.
The group insurance scheme will provide a cover of ₹1 lakh for every eligible demat account subject to maximum of Rs. 5 lakh for any single individual at a very nominal price.
CDSL serves more than 15.85 million demat accounts, which is 48 per cent of the industry.

ICICI Bank files insolvency case against JP Associates.
ICICI Bank has filed a bankruptcy petition against debt-ridden Jaiprakash Associates with the Allahabad Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
The petition, under Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, will formally initiate insolvency proceedings against the company.
As is clear from the Order itself that (sic) no notice of the Petition had been served on the Company, adding that it has been given time to file its reply within seven days.
ICICI Bank is the lead lender in the consortium. Jaiprakash Associates, which is into the construction, real estate and cement businesses, is understood to owe it close to Rs. 1,500 crore.

September 11

‘RBI should have pushed earlier for enactment of the Bankruptcy Code’.
The Reserve Bank of India should probably have raised more flags about the quality of lending in the early days of banking exuberance.
With the benefit of hindsight, the RBI should probably not have agreed to forbearance, though without the tools to clean up, it is not clear what the banks would have done.
Forbearance was a bet that growth would revive, and projects would come back on track. That it did not work out does not mean that it was not the right decision at the time it was initiated.
Also, the RBI should have initiated the new tools earlier, and pushed for a more rapid enactment of the Bankruptcy Code. If so, it could have started the asset quality review (AQR) process earlier.

YES Bank raises $400 million via syndicated loan facility.
Private sector lender YES Bank had raised $400 million through a syndicated loan facility, borrowed out of its IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) in Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City.
In rupee terms, it amounts to nearly Rs. 2,900 crore. It will use the funds to support IBU’s growth.
the lender has tied up a three-year loan facility in a syndication led by Bayerische Landesbank, Commerzbank, CTBC Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, Korea Development Bank, State Bank of India, United Overseas Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation.
The bank recently raised $400 million through two syndicated loan transactions in Taiwan and Japan, comprising $250 million from Taiwanese banks and 16.5 billion yen (or about $150 million) from Japan in November 2017. This was followed by a $300-million syndicated loan transaction completed in July 2018, which saw subscription from eight banks.

September 12

Bank credit rose by 13.49%; deposits by 8.9%.
Bank credit grew by 13.49 percent to Rs 87,89,259 crore in the fortnight ended August 31. In the year-ago fortnight, bank advances was at Rs 77,44,237 crore.
In the reporting period, the growth in advances was higher than the previous fortnight ended August 17, 2018, when it had grown at 12.94 per cent to Rs 86,75,129 crore.
In the fortnight ended August 31, 2018, deposits grew by 8.88 per cent to Rs 116, 45,870 crore from Rs 106,96,099 crore in the fortnight ended September 1, 2017.
Deposits grew at 8.31 per cent to Rs 106,28,428 crore in the fortnight ended August 18, 2017. In July 2018, non-food bank credit rose by 10.6 per as compared with an increase of 5.3 percent in July 2017.

September 13

Syndicate Bank to raise up to Rs. 250 crore via employee stock purchase scheme.
State-owned Syndicate Bank has board approved a proposal to raise up to Rs. 250 crore by issuing shares to its employees under the employee stock purchase scheme.
The board of directors of the bank in a meeting approved the proposal to raise capital up to ₹ 250 crore by way of issue of equity shares under employee stock purchase scheme (ESPS). Syndicate Bank will convene an extraordinary general meeting on October 29 to seek approval from shareholders on issuing shares to employees under the ESPS.
Another state-run lender Bank of India a meeting of the Compensation cum Allotment Committee (CAC) of the bank is scheduled to be held on September 18, 2018 to allot shares to employees. Bank of India plans to offer 10 crore shares under the ESPS.
The committee will consider, finalise and approve a scheme namely “Bank of India-Employee Stock Purchase Scheme, 2018 (BOI ESPS)” for issue of up to 10 crore new equity shares of the bank to eligible employees.

United Bank of India increases MCLR by 5 basis points.
Public lender United Bank of India has increased its marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) by 5 basis points or 0.05 per cent across tenors.
The Asset Liability Management Committee of the bank has revised the tenor-based MCLR of the bank with effect from September 14, 2018.
The one-year MCLR has been increased to 8.85 per cent from 8.8 per cent. The six and three-month MCLR will attract lending rates of 8.65 per cent and 8.55 per cent, respectively. Overnight and one-month rates will be at 8.15 per cent and 8.40 per cent.
State Bank of India (SBI) had increased the lending rate by 20 basis points, or 0.20 per cent, across all tenors up to three years. Private sector lender ICICI Bank had announced an increase in the one-year MCLR by 0.15 per cent to 8.55 per cent. Bank of Baroda also increased its MCLR by 0.05 per cent across tenors.

September 14

RBI to buy G-Secs in open market on September 19.
The RBI will purchase Government Securities (G-Secs) under Open Market Operations (OMO) for Rs. 10,000 crore on September 19.
The move is based on the central bank’s assessment of prevailing liquidity conditions and the durable liquidity needs going forward. OMOs are the market operations conducted by the RBI by way of sale/ purchase in the market to adjust the rupee liquidity conditions on a durable basis.
The central bank conduct the OMO through a multi-security auction - of five G-Secs (maturing in 2020, 2022, 2027, 2030, and 2042) using the multiple price method (each bidder would get the allotment at the price he/ she has bid).
RBI purchased securities amounting to Rs. 30,650 crore by way of open market operation in the current fiscal (up to July 19), notably higher than the Rs. 1,235 crore purchased in FY18 in an attempt to improve the liquidity situation in the system. There have been no OMO sales this year.

Federal Bank inks MOU with Infopark Kakkanad.
Federal Bank, which is in the process of formation of a wholly owned subsidiary company, has executed MOU with Infopark Kakkanad for leasing space in their campus.
The Bank has already obtained in principle approval of the Reserve Bank of India for the creation of a subsidiary company. The proposed company will integrate and handle all the back-end operations of the Bank.
This move towards having a distinct and exclusive outfit for back-end activities is a stride is in line with the practice of progressive financial institutions.
Shalini Warrier, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Bank exchanged MOU with Hrishikesh Nair CEO, Infopark, for leasing over 12,000 sq ft space in Infopark to house the company.

September 15

LIC comes to the rescue of IL&FS; board approves revival plan.
The board of the cash strapped Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) to approve for the company to raise funds to tide over the cash crunch. LIC holds 25.34 per cent, is believed to have agreed to subscribe to the forthcoming rights issue and extend some immediate working capital loan.
The company has also learnt to have appointed SB Mathur, a past chairman of LIC as the new non executive chairman. The company needs an immediate capital infusion of around Rs 3,000 crore from its shareholders.
IL&FS is also looking to raise Rs 4,500 crore through a rights issue. The company expects to reduce its overall debt by Rs 30,000 crore by divestment of its assets. It is sitting on a debt pile of over Rs 91,000 crore as of March 2018.

September 16

NABARD approves Rs 65,635 crore loan for 93 irrigation projects.
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has approved Rs 65,634.93 crore loan so far to 93 prioritised irrigation projects under the government's flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).
The NABARD is funding the central and state share of 99 prioritised irrigation projects under the PMKSY through long term irrigation fund (LTIF). It is mandated to provide Rs 70,000 crore loan to these projects to be completed by 2019.
The NABARD has so far sanctioned Rs 65,634.93 crore funds for 93 prioritised irrigation projects out of 99. Already, Rs 23,402.72 crore has been disbursed for 86 projects, which includes the central share of 15,242.02 crore and state share of Rs 8,160.70 crore.
Maximum projects sanctioned are in Uttar Pradesh, the UP government for making budgetary allocation of Rs 7,000 crore for the irrigation projects. The completion of 99 pending projects across the country will develop new irrigation facilities in more than 80 lakh hectare area.

20 lakh people join modified JanDhan scheme.
As many as 20 lakh people have joined the modified Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY), taking the total number of account holders in the flagship financial inclusion programme to 32.61 crore as on September 5.
Relaunched PMJDY as an open-ended scheme with higher insurance cover and doubled the overdraft (OD) facility. The Union Cabinet decided to continue the scheme beyond the four-year period ended August 14 with an aim to take the formal banking system from “every household to every adult”.
During August 15 - September 5, the total deposits in PMJDY accounts witnessed an increase of Rs 1,266.43 crore. The balance in PMJDY accounts was Rs 82,490.98 crore as on September 5.
Under the revamped scheme, accidental insurance cover for new RuPay card holders has been raised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh for new PMJDY accounts opened after August 28. Also, the existing OD limit of Rs 5,000 has been increased to Rs 10,000. Further, no conditions will be attached for OD up to Rs 2,000.

BoI plans to raise Rs 1,000 crore via stake sale in non-core assets, real estate assets.
State-run Bank of India plans to raise nearly Rs 1,000 crore through selling stake in some of its non-core assets and real estate properties.
The bank expects to raise around Rs 800 crore through stake sale in non-banking finance company - STCI Finance - and in SIDBI, by the third quarter of the current financial year. It has also lined up some of its real estate assets to sell and expects to raise nearly Rs 200 crore.
The lender holds 29.96 per cent stake in STCI Finance, while it owns 2.84 per cent in SIDBI. The bank is planning to sell its entire stake in STCI Finance. It expects to raise around Rs 500 crore from the deal.
The Mumbai-based bank had raised Rs 540 crore in June 2016 by selling 18 per cent stake in its life insurance venture - Star Union Dai-iche Life Insurance. Currently, the bank owns 28.96 per cent, while the Union Bank of India and Dai-ichi Life Insurance hold 25.10 per cent and 45.94 per cent.

September 17

BoI has Rs. 231 crore exposure to Winsome Diamonds, Forever Precious Diamond.
Bank of India has an exposure of Rs. 82.55 crore to Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd and Rs. 148.67 crore to Forever Precious Diamond and Jewellery Ltd.
The public sector bank had received a communication from the Reserve Bank of India on September 6 advising it to pay a penalty of Rs. 1 crore on account of ‘Violation of RBI guidelines on Frauds- Classification and Reporting’ in the aforesaid accounts. BoI will pay the penalty on or before September 19.
Clarifying its position to the stock exchanges, the public sector bank classified the Winsome Diamond and Jewellery Ltd account as a non-performing asset on June 30, 2015. The Forever Precious Diamond and Jewellery Ltd account was classified as an NPA on June 30, 2016.
In both the cases, BoI holds 100 per cent provision and cases are pending with the National Company Law Tribunal's Ahmedabad Bench for liquidation proceedings, as per the stock exchange clarification.

September 18

India Post Payments Bank, Bajaj Allianz join hands ‘to provide insurance to all’.
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and private life insurer Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co Ltd (BALIC) entered into a strategic partnership to provide life insurance solutions, especially at the doorstep of every household in the country.
This partnership will leverage IPPB’s last mile reach for building awareness about life insurance. Both the companies came together to formally sign the Corporate Agency Agreement.
IPPB has begun operations with 650 branches and 3,250 access points across the country. Plans are afoot to leverage the services of postmen and ‘Grameen Dak Sevaks’ for providing insurance solutions.
Initially, simple term and Point of Sale (POS) products of BALIC will be sold through the IPPB. These products will first be available across IPPB’s network of 3250 access points, gradually expanding to 155,000 post offices across every village, town and district in India.

RBI has elbow room to sell another $25 billion forex to support rupee: SBI.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) could sell at least an additional $25 billion from its reserves to support the rupee. This observation comes in the backdrop of the rupee weakening, a whisker away from 73 to the dollar.
The Indian unit closed at yet another life-time low of 72.9775 against the dollar despite measures announced by the government last weekend to curb the widening current account deficit and support the rupee.
The government had announced measures, including permitting manufacturing entities to raise $50 million for up to one year, exempting interest payments made by an Indian company or a business trust to a non-resident in respect of offshore rupee-denominated bonds issued between September 17, 2018 and March 31, 2019, from withholding tax, and allowing foreign portfolio investors to invest more in corporate bonds.

ICRA junks Rs 12,000 crore of IL&FS group’s borrowing programmes.
Domestic rating agency ICRA junked the short-term and long-term borrowing programmes worth over Rs. 12,000 crore by the already crippled IL&FS group and one of its arms, and removed the entire group entities from its rating watch with developing implications.
The infrastructure development and finance group has been facing liquidity issues for some time and has defaulted on an Rs 1,000 crore debt from SIDBI.
It defaulted on a Rs 105 crore CP redemption and the next day, it defaulted on Rs 80-crore inter-corporate deposits (ICDs). Investors jittery over Rs. 2,800 crore mutual fund investments in IL&FS.
This is the second successive downgrading to junk status by ICRA. The group is sitting over a debt pile of over Rs 91,000 crore. Of this, Rs 57,000 crore are bank loans alone most of which is from state-run banks.

September 19

India Post Payments Bank, Bajaj Allianz join hands ‘to provide insurance to all’.
State-owned India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and private life insurer Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co Ltd (BALIC) entered into a strategic partnership to provide life insurance solutions, especially at the doorstep of every household in the country.
This partnership will leverage IPPB’s last mile reach for building awareness about life insurance. Both the companies came together, to formally sign the Corporate Agency Agreement.

September 20

Corporation Bank in pact with NeSL
Corporation Bank has signed an information utility (IU) agreement with National e-Governance Services Ltd (NeSL), the first IU registered with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), to share financial and security information under IBBI (IU) Regulation 2017.

September 21

Yes Bank slapped with Rs 38 crore in GST fines for violating domestic remittance norms
Midsized private sector lender Yes Bank has paid Rs 38 crore in fines to the GST department for alleged violations in domestic remittances.
The money has been paid "in protest" and the lender believes that it has not violated any norms.

September 23

RBI shortlists Infosys, TCS, 3 other IT firms to implement CIMS
The Reserve Bank has shortlisted five IT firms including Infosys and TCS, Capgemini, IBM, Larsen & Turbo InfoTech for implementation of a Centralized information and management system (CIMS) for seamless data collection and validations.
The central bank had invited of expression of interest (EOI) in July for identification of solution provider for implementation of CIMS by overhauling the Data Warehouse (DW) of the apex bank.

September 24

Yes Bank partners with RupeeBoss.com
Private sector lender Yes Bank has partnered with online financial services company RupeeBoss.com for the integration of the bank’s chat bot based platform to support instant loan eligibilities for its several loan products.
By authorising RupeeBoss’s expansive agents network, Yes Bank will be able to provide its loan applicants with instant information without needing to know all the details about the customer, thereby speeding up the pace of sourcing customers.
The mPower BOT integration will be done across digital platforms and shall be available for use across platforms like the online portal RupeeBoss.com for the customers, Magic Finmart which is the android distributor app, RupeeBoss Business Associate app used by the agents and the Messenger for RupeeBoss which is used by its employees.

September 25

ICICI Prudential Life and Saraswat Bank partnered up for bancassurance
ICICI Prudential Life inked a pact with Saraswat Bank to offer insurance products.
This includes 280 branches of Saraswat Bank in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

September 26

Fitch places BoB's viability rating on 'rating watch negative'
Fitch Ratings placed Bank of Baroda's (BoB) viability rating on 'rating watch negative' following the government announcement to merge it with Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank.
The VR (viability rating) has been placed on RWN (rating watch negative) as we believe the merger could have a potentially negative impact on BoB's financial position, depending on the extent of deterioration that is visible after the merger in key financial parameters such as asset quality and core capitalisation.
The merger, announced by the government last week, may be positive in terms of scale and cost synergies but the potential upside is likely to arise only in the medium term.
VRs represent Fitch's view as to the intrinsic creditworthiness of an issuer. BoB's VR stands at 'bb' which denotes moderate prospects for ongoing viability.

September 27

Reserve Bank of India eases cash reserve rules to ease liquidity
The Reserve Bank of India allowed banks to dip further into statutory cash reserves in a bid to ease a liquidity squeeze afflicting the nation’s money markets. To help banks overcome any possible liquidity constraints, they can avail of higher liquidity with effect from October 1 as it has enhanced the "Facility to Avail Liquidity for Liquidity Coverage Ratio (FALLCR)" from the existing 11 per cent to 13 per cent of their deposits.
This move will take the total carve-out from SLR (statutory liquidity ratio) available to banks to 15 per cent of their deposits. Banks' SLR, which is the percentage of deposits that they have to mandatorily invest in government and state government securities, is currently at 19.5 per cent.
This should supplement the ability of individual banks to avail of liquidity, if required, from the repo markets against high-quality collateral. This, in turn, will help improve the distribution of liquidity in the financial system as a whole.
Availing of liquidity against the securities under FALLCR is usually permitted to banks only under the conditions of stress.

ICICI Bank ties-up with MakeMyTrip to launch a range of co-branded credit cards
ICICI Bank announced its partnership with MakeMyTrip, the country’s leading online travel company, to launch a range of co-branded credit cards tailor-made to suit the aspirations of the rapidly expanding segment of travel enthusiasts in the country.
As part of the agreement, ICICI Bank will offer two types of credit card – MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card and MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card.

Punjab National Bank board approves proposal to raise Rs 5,431 crore fund from government
The board of Punjab National Bank (PNB) approved proposal to seek Rs 5,431 crore capital support from the government. The capital infusion of Rs 5,431 crore by the Centre would be through preferential allotment of the bank's equity shares at a price determined as per the regulation.
The extra general meeting (EGM) in this regard will be held on October 30.
The finance minister committed capital support to banks after meeting heads of public sector lenders.
Some of them did mention that the PCA (prompt corrective action) guidelines should be revisited because that is indirectly impacting their lending ability and that government should be more upfront in the capital requirement of some of these banks.
The government infused Rs 2,816 crore as capital infusion via preferential allotment of equity shares this month to meet regulatory ratios.

September 28

RBI slaps Rs 5 crore penalty on Karur Vysya Bank
The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on Karur Vysya Bank for non-compliance of its directives.
The penalty was imposed for non-compliance with its directions on "Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms, reporting of frauds, and on the need for discipline at the time of opening of current accounts".
This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to propronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

September 29

BoB, Vijaya Bank approve merger proposal to create second largest PSU lender
The boards of state-run Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Vijaya Bank gave in-principle approvals for their amalgamation with another lender Dena Bank, a move that would create the second-largest entity in the PSU banking space.
The government announced the merger of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank to create the country's second-largest PSU lender by assets and branches.
The board of directors of the bank at their meeting decided to give its 'in-principle approval' for amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda and commence the process for the same, subject to applicable approvals.
Similarly, Vijaya Bank's board gave its in-principle approval for amalgamation in line with the Finance Ministry's proposal.

September 30

PNB raises benchmark lending rate by up to 0.2 per cent
Punjab National Bank (PNB) increased its benchmark lending rates or MCLR for the short-term loans by up to 0.2 per cent.
With the revision overnight Marginal Cost of Funds Based Lending Rate (MCLR) stands at 8.2 per cent as against 7.9 per cent. The MCLR for a one-month tenor increased to 8.10 per cent from 8.05 per cent earlier.


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