BANKING - 2018 JUNE

June 1

India, World Bank sign $500 million loan pact for rural roads
India signed a USD 500 million (Rs 3,371 crore) loan pact with World Bank to provide additional financing for PMGSY rural road projects.
The loan has a 3-year grace period, and a maturity of 10 years.
It will provide additional financing for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Rural Roads Project which will build 7,000 km of climate resilient roads, out of which 3,500 km will be constructed using green technologies.
The World Bank has supported PMGSY since its inception in 2004. So far it has invested over USD 1.8 billion in loans and credits mostly in the economically weaker and hill states across North India Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.

June 2

SBI, PNB, ICICI Bank raise lending rates
Days ahead of RBI's monetary policy review, India's three major banks SBI, PNB and ICICI Bank increased their benchmark lending rates or MCLR by up to 0.1 per cent, making loans costlier for consumers.
India's largest lender SBI has increased the lending rate by 10 basis points across all tenors up to three years.
SBI's overnight and one-month tenors' Marginal Cost of Funds Based Lending Rate (MCLR) stands at 7.9 per cent as against 7.8 per cent, as per the SBI's website.
The MCLR for a three-year tenor increased to 8.45 per cent from 8.35 per cent earlier.
The state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country's second largest lender, raised the MCLR for three-year and five-year tenors to 8.55 per cent and 8.7 per cent, respectively.

June 4

Rs 5400 crore supplied to Telangana banks for farmers' scheme: RBI
The Reserve Bank of India ensured cash availability to the extent of 95 per cent in Telangana for the newly launched 'Rythu Bandhu' investment support scheme for farmers.
The Telangana government under the scheme, which was launched last month, provided input costs by giving them Rs 4,000 each for every acre for two seasons in a year through specially printed cheques.
There were apprehensions that time about the availability of sufficient cash with banks.
The government allotted Rs 12,000 crore in the budget for the scheme.

June 5

Citi Bank first bank to enroll as Payment Initiation Service Provider Under UK’s Open Banking regime
Citi Bank becomes the first corporate bank to make use of UK’sOpen Banking regime.
According to the open banking regime the European Banks are required to share customer data with third party banks upon the customers’ approval.
Citi Bank is the first to enroll as “Payment Initiation Service Provider”.
This would enable it to receive small payments directly from UK’s customer bank accounts without debit or credit cards.
This initiative will be less time consuming and cheaper compared to other alternatives like Pay Pal etc.

June 6

RBI to announce second bi-monthly Monetary Policy of 2018-19
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will announce its second bi-monthly Monetary Policy of 2018-19.
The meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel.
Increase the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent.
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.50 per cent.
This is the first time the six-member committee is meeting for three days instead of the usual two, due to certain administrative exigencies.
Repo rate: 6.25%
Reverse Repo rate: 6.00%
Marginal Standing Facility rate (MSF) and Bank rate: 6.50%

Bank of Baroda revises MCLR by 5 basis points
Bank of Baroda will up its marginal cost of funds-based lending rates (MCLR) across tenors by five basis points with effect from June 7.
The public sector bank’s one-year MCLR will be 5 basis points higher at 8.45 per cent against 8.40 per cent now. One basis point equals one-hundredth of a percentage point.
For all other tenors overnight, one month, three months and six months the new rates will be 7.95 per cent, 8 per cent, 8.10 per cent and 8.30 per cent, respectively.

IDFC Bank, Capital First shares gain on RBI nod for merger
Shares of IDFC Bank surged over 7 per cent after it has received RBI's approval for merger of Capital First, Capital First Home Finance and Capital First Securities with the company.
The stock soared 7.32 per cent to end at Rs 41.05 on BSE. During the day, it jumped 8.49 per cent to Rs 41.50.
On NSE, shares of the company surged 7 per cent to close at Rs 41.05.
Shares of Capital First also rose by 5.32 per cent to close at Rs 561.35 on BSE.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has, via its letter dated June 4, 2018, conveyed its 'no objection' for the voluntary amalgamation of Capital First Ltd, Capital First Home Finance Ltd and Capital First Securities Ltd with IDFC Bank.

World Bank to assist govt scheme on groundwater management
The World Bank offered assistance to the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY), a Rs.6000 crore Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
The scheme will be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23, with World Bank's assistance, and aims to improve groundwater management in priority areas in the country through community participation.
The proposal for the scheme has already been recommended by the Expenditure Finance Committee and will be presented for Cabinet approval shortly.
Atal Bhujal Yojana was formulated by the aforementioned ministry to address the criticality of groundwater resources in a major part of the country.

June 7

MSMEs get a breather for repayment of loans
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given a temporary loan-repayment breather to all micro, small and medium (MSMEs) that have been affected due to implementation of the Goods and Services Tax regime.
A loan account is qualified as a Non-Performing Asset (NPA) based on 90 day and 120 day delinquency norms.
The RBI noted that that formalization of business through registration under GST had adversely impacted the cash flows of the smaller entities during the transition phase with consequent difficulties in meeting their repayment obligations to banks and NBFCs.

June 8

RBI amends Gold Monetisation Scheme
The Reserve Bank of India has amended the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) 2015, whereby deposits can be placed with banks for broken periods such as one year three months, or 13 years four months 15 days.
The designated banks are free to fix the interest rates on short-term bank deposits (STBDs), which are for a short period of one to three years (with a facility of roll over).
The interest is credited to the deposit accounts on the respective due dates, and can be withdrawn periodically or at maturity, as per the terms of the deposit.
Redemption of principal and interest at maturity shall, at the option of the depositor, be either in Indian rupee equivalent of the deposited gold and accrued interest based on the price of gold prevailing at the time of redemption, or in gold.
In the case of Medium and Long Term Government Deposit (MLTGD), whereby the deposit of gold made under the GMS with a designated bank in the account of the Central government for a medium-term period of five-seven years, or a long term period of 12-15 years, the redemption of principal at maturity shall, at the option of the depositor, be either in Indian rupee equivalent of the value of the deposited gold at the time of redemption, or in gold.

Bank of India ups MCLR by 0.10% from Jun 10 for various tenors
State-owned Bank of India has increased lending rates based on MCLR by 0.1%. The bank has increased marginal cost of lending rates (MCLR) by 10 bps (or 0.10%) for various tenors.
Bank of India has revised upward marginal cost-based lending rate for one-year at 8.50% while overnight rate up by 10 bps at 7.90.
The new rates would come into effect from June 10, 2018.

June 9

Syndicate, OBC, Bank of India raise rate by up to 0.15%
Joining peers, three state-owned lenders announced raising interest rate in the range of 0.05-0.15 per cent.
Bank of India has hiked the marginal cost based lending rate (MCLR) by 0.10 per cent each for various tenors; the Oriental Bank of Commerce by 0.10-0.15 per cent and Syndicate Bank effected a change of 0.05 per cent for one-year tenor loan.
The hike follows the Reserve Bank this week raising the key lending rate by 0.25 per cent citing inflation concerns on rising oil rates globally.

Yes Bank launches deposit scheme with an eye to raise Rs 1,000 crore
Private sector lender Yes Bank launched a deposit scheme, which could fetch up to 8 per cent for a tenure of little over 18 months.
The bank is eyeing Rs 1,000 crore from the scheme 'Green Future: Deposit' in next three months. The launch coincides the World Environment Day.
The bank, this deposit account can be opened for 18 months and 8 days to 18 months and 18 days, with peak interest rate of 7.50 per cent per annum for a regular Green Future.
For senior citizens, the account will offer an interest rate of 8 per cent per annum.

June 10

Karur Vysya Bank ties up with Aditya Birla Health
Private sector Karur Vysya Bank has entered into a bancassurance partnership with Aditya Birla Health to provide insurance services to customers.
The lender has already partnered with Birla Sunlife Insurance Co Ltd for providing life insurance products to its customers.
Now they have partnered with Aditya Birla Health Insurance to provide health insurnace products through a similar bancassurance partnership.
KVB has, after assessing various options, decided to go with Aditya Birla Health Insurance as one such partner.

UIDAI excludes Airtel Payments Bank from using full e-KYC via Aadhaar
Airtel Payment Bank has been denied permission to use Aadhaar-linked Know Your Customer authentication awaiting a report from RBI.
The bank regulator is yet to submit a report on the allegations that the payment bank routed government subsidy on LPG cylinders subsidies to accounts it opened for Bharti Airtel Telecom customers without explicit prior consent.
Experts contend that this set back, even if temporary, could put the company at a disadvantage to its competitors in acquiring new customers.
The Unique Identity Authority of India published a list which categorised Aadhaar eKYC using companies into global and local Authentication User Agencies (AUAs)citing user data privacy concerns.
The list allowed most of the commercial and payment banks regulated by the RBI to continue to use full e-KYC.
Fintech and payment wallets that fall into the category of local AUAs, which are not allowed to collect or store Aadhaar numbers. They can carry out limited KYCs based on virtual IDs rolled out by the UIDAI.

June 11

RBI likely to issue $35 billion NRI bonds to support rupee
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to mop up foreign exchange of $30-35 billion by floating bonds to non-resident Indians (NRIs), according to a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The main trigger for the dollar mop-up is the rise in crude oil prices, which in turn has put pressure on the rupee.
If the RBI does go ahead and sells bonds to NRIs, this will be the fourth such offering. The government had first raised money through NRIs by floating $5 billion of Resurgent India Bonds in 1998 in the wake of sanctions placed on the country following the second round of nuclear tests in Pokhran.
The second offering was the $5-billion India Millennium Deposits just two years later.
The last such issuance was a $34 billion FCNR (B) special deposit in September 2013, after the rupee hit 68.84 following the ‘taper tantrums’ the term used by markets to describe the volatility after the US Fed announced that it would taper off its bond repurchase programme.

June 12

Axis tops value, Paytm volumes in mobile banking
At 17.2 per cent, Axis Bank commands the largest value share of mobile banking transactions but it’s Paytm that tops volumes with 22 per cent.
However, Paytm’s value share is a meagre 0.25 per cent, according to State Bank of India’s (SBI) annual report for 2017-18 which has put out Reserve Bank of India’s data for January 2018.
ICICI Bank has a 17.1 per cent share of transactions by value and 9.7 per cent by volume.
SBI’s volume share has slipped by over 5 percentage points from nearly 25 per cent at the end of March 2017 to 19.5 per cent in January 2018. The lender has also lost value share from to 16.8 per cent from a high 44.4 per cent a year ago.
Mobile-banking usage itself has seen a steep jump, with volumes soaring a steep 91 per cent to 1,871 million in FY18 from 977 million in FY17.

June 13

OPIC gives $5 million loan to Grameen Impact via IndusInd Bank
The US government arm Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has given USD 5 million loan to Grameen Impact Investments to support domestic small and medium enterprises.
The financing to Grameen Impact, a non-banking financial company, comes through IndusInd Bank in the form of a loan guarantee agreement.
The loan is to be deployed through the bank's Impact Investing division, which will support Grameen Impact's lending to local small and medium enterprises.
The financing to Grameen Impact, a non-banking financial company, comes through IndusInd Bank in the form of a loan guarantee agreement.
The loan is to be deployed through the bank's Impact Investing division, which will support Grameen Impact's lending to local small and medium enterprises.
The OPIC guarantee enabled the bank to disburse an equivalent of Rs 33.5 crore (USD 5 million) loan to Grameen Impact.

June 14

HDFC Bank wins Cabinet nod to raise Rs. 24,000 crore via FDI
The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to grant private-sector lender HDFC Bank permission to raise additional capital of up to Rs. 24,000 crore through foreign direct investments.
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for grant of permission to M/s. HDFC Bank Ltd. to raise additional share capital of up to a maximum of Rs. 24,000 crore, including premium, over and above the previous approved limit of Rs. 10,000 crore, such that the composite foreign shareholding in the bank shall not exceed 74% of the enhanced paid-up equity share capital of the bank.

June 15

Andhra Bank raises MCLR by 0.05% for various tenors
State-owned Andhra Bank has increased the marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) by 0.05 per cent to up to 8.55 per cent for various tenors.
The changes are in the following table:
MCLR Changes are in given below

Tenor
Increased rate in %
Overnight 8
One Month 8.05
Three Months 8.25
Six Months 8.40
One Year 8.55
The move will make consumer loans such as auto, car and home loans costlier for buyers. The RBI had earlier this month increased the key lending rate by 0.25 per cent to 6.25 per cent.
Following this, a number of banks have hiked the interest rate. However, big players such as SBI, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank had increased MCLR prior to the policy rate decision by RBI in anticipation of a rate hike.
Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Syndicate Bank, Karur Vysya Bank and Indian Bank have also raised the lending rate.

HDFC Bank gets nod to raise up to Rs 15,500 crore via QIP
HDFC Bank, India’s most valued lender, has received government approval to sell fresh shares in India and abroad in what could result in the country’s largest qualified institutional placement (QIP).
The approval includes an Rs 8,500-crore infusion from parent Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC), which will allow it to maintain its 25.6% current shareholding, potentially leaving about Rs 15,500 crore to be raised from the market.
The QIP record is Rs 15,500 crore to be raised from the market. The QIP record is Rs 15,000 crore raised by State Bank of India (SBI) in June 2017.

Fitch downgrades ICICI Bank, revises Axis Bank rating to negative
Fitch has downgraded its support rating for ICICI Bank from ‘2’ to ‘3’ and revised the outlook on Axis Bank to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’.
The outlook on ICICI Bank is, however, ‘stable’.
Support ratings reflect expectation of a moderate probability of extraordinary state (government) support, if required. This is due to private ownership and lower systemic importance compared to larger banks.
The revision in ICICI’s support rating takes into account the constrained finances. A large number of weak government-owned banks particularly those which are systemically important will get priority in terms of timeliness of government support.
It affirmed the long-term issuer default ratings (IDRs) and viability ratings of ICICI Bank and Axis Bank at ‘BBB-’ and ‘bbb-’, respectively.
The negative outlook on Axis’s rating reflects rising pressure on its standalone profile relative to banks with a viability rating of ‘bbb-’. The pressure on the profile stems from heightened asset-quality stress and weak earnings.
Axis Bank’s capital buffers are less comfortable for its current rating despite raising of fresh capital. ICICI’s capital buffers are better even though it experienced similar financial deterioration in the previous few years.

June 16

MARG ERP partners with ICICI Bank for accounting and banking solutions
Marg ERP limited, a inventory and accounting software solution company has partnered with ICICI Bank to offer an integrated payments platform to micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) customers, using MARG’s accounting software.
This integration aims to promote ‘Connected Banking’ and enables ICICI Bank’s current account holders to securely connect their bank account with the MARG ERP software and undertake an array of digital transactions from within the ERP platform itself.
It will enable businesses to initiate vendor & salary payments via RTGS, NEFT or IMPS directly from this platform, automate reconciliation of banking and accounting entries, apply for working capital loans as well as schedule future dated payments, thereby offering exemplary command over day-to-day financial transactions for businesses.

June 17

Karnataka Bank unveils 'KBL Deposit Only Card'
Karnataka Bank has unveiled a novel card variant 'KBL Deposit Only Card', which enables hassle free cash deposit transaction at Bank's 24x7 e-Lobby services.
This card is specially meant for Bank's Current/Overdraft customers and by using this card they can perform card based cash deposit transactions even with higher deposit limit at Bank's Bunch Note Acceptor (BNA) / Cash Recycler kiosks.

June 18

RBI eases norms for FPIs to invest in debt; to help RE, corporate bonds
The Reserve Bank has eased investment norms for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in debt, especially into individual large corporates, a move that can help attract more overseas flows and thereby help arrest the recent fall in the rupee on one hand and also lift the recent fall in demand for corporate bonds.
FPIs are allowed to invest in various debt market instruments such as government bonds, treasury bills, state development loans and corporate bonds, but with certain limits and restrictions.
The RBI increased the FPIs cap on investment in government security to 30 per cent of the outstanding stock of that security, from 20 per cent earlier.
FPIs were allowed to invest in government bonds with a minimum residual maturity of three years.

June 19

RBI alters ‘relative’ definition to check outward remittances
Concerned over funds sent abroad under the ‘maintenance of close relative’ category of the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has narrowed the definition of relatives to check the flow of funds.
Hence, funds under the ‘maintenance of close relative’ category can be sent only to immediate relatives such as parents, spouses, children and their spouses. This has brought about by defining ‘relatives’ under the Companies Act, 2013 instead of the same act of 1956.
In the context of remittances allowed under LRS for maintenance of close relatives, it has been decided to align the definition of ‘relative’ with the definition given in Companies Act, 2013 instead of Companies Act, 1956.
Outward remittances under maintenance of close relatives shot up to almost $3 billion in 2017-18 from a mere $174 million in 2013-14. In fact, funds sent under this category have more than doubled since 2015-16.

Yes Bank gets Sebi nod for custodian of securities business
Yes Bank has received approval from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for acting as custodian of securities.
Custodian of securities is a licence granted by Sebi to eligible entities allowing them to offer custodial services to financial market participants including foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs).
This will complement the bank's existing capital market offerings and enable it to play a larger role in channelising domestic and foreign investments into Indian financial market.
The bank has leveraged its global reach through its international banking team, IFSC banking unit in GIFT City and its representative office in Abu Dhabi as a part of its strategy.

June 20

RBI revises priority sector lending norms
The Reserve Bank has tweaked priority sector eligibility and classification norms following an announcement in the second bi-monthly policy statement.
With a view to bringing convergence of the Priority Sector Lending guidelines for housing loans with the Affordable Housing Scheme, and to give a filip to low-cost housing for the Economically Weaker Sections and Low Income Groups, the housing loan limits for eligibility under priority sector lending will be revised to Rs 35 lakh in metropolitan centres Rs 28 lakh earlier (with population of ten lakh and above), and to Rs 25 lakh from Rs 20 lakh earlier in other centres, provided the overall cost of the dwelling unit in the metropolitan centre and at other centres does not exceed Rs 45 lakh and Rs 30 lakh, respectively.
The existing limit for family income of Rs 2 lakh per annum for loans to housing projects for home construction economically weaker sections and low income groups, is revised to Rs 3 lakh per annum and Rs 6 lakh per annum respectively in alignment with the income criteria specified under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

June 22

Upgrade software at ATMs by June 2019 or face penalty, RBI tells banks
With banks failing to upgrade software in automated teller machines (ATM) despite repeated reminders, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has now directed the banks to complete the process in a phased manner latest by June 2019.
The slow progress on the part of the banks in addressing these issues has been viewed seriously by the RBI.
The banking regulator pointed out that many ATMs were still running on Windows XP and other unsupported software. RBI had asked banks to upgrade the ATMs first in March last year and then in November.
According to banking industry sources, there could be 30% of the present 2.2 lakh ATMs that still use old software.
The vulnerability arising from the ATMs operating on unsupported version of operating system and non-implementation of other security measures, could potentially affect the interests of customers and the banks’ image.

June 23

RBI revises upwards housing loan limits under priority sector
Housing loans of up to Rs 35 lakh, for dwellings costing less than Rs 45 lakh, will be treated as priority sector lending (PSL) to give a fillip to the low-cost segment.
PSL loans are relatively cheaper than market interest rate.
With a view to bringing convergence of the PSL guidelines for housing loans with the Affordable Housing Scheme, and to give a filip to low-cost housing for the Economically Weaker Sections and Low Income Groups, the housing loan limits for eligibility under priority sector lending will be revised to Rs 35 lakh in metropolitan centres, and Rs 25 lakh in other centres.
There is a condition however that the overall cost of the dwelling unit in the metropolitan centre (with population of ten lakh and above) and at other centres should not exceed Rs 45 lakh and Rs 30 lakh, respectively, for being classified as priority sector.
Currently, loans to individuals for up to Rs 28 lakh in metropolitan centres and Rs 20 lakh in other centres, can be classified under priority sector, provided that the cost of dwelling unit does not exceed Rs 35 lakh and Rs 25 lakh respectively.



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