BANKING - 2017 September

September 1

ItzCash partners with HDFC Ergo for general insurance products
Mumbai based digital payments company and financial exchange Ebix’s ItzCash, has partnered with non life insurance provider HDFC ERGO to offer general insurance products through its physical retail outlets.
The partnership inked will offer a wide range of general insurance policies, providing protection for a range of insurance needs including health, motor, fire and auto. All these products will be easily available and accessible to customers through ItzCash’s extensive distribution network across the country.
Under the arrangement, the entire process from filing an application to making the payment will be executed digitally through ItzCash’s network thus eradicating the possibilities of human error and other delays to offer customer service on a real-time basis.
The partnership will also provide the customers with the convenience to pay premium at the nearest ItzCash outlet.

Union Bank taking the app route to recover bad loans
Union Bank of India is making the most of technology for recovery of non-performing assets (NPAs). In this regard, it launched a mobile-based application (app) for its officers.
By entering the postal pincode of the area in the app, the bank officer gets all the details about the borrowers and defaulting accounts under the limits of that particular pincode.
If the officer decides to visit the borrower in the locality concerned, he can upload the photograph of the borrower and the premises on the app.

September 2

Fincare Small Finance Bank starts operations with 25 branches
Fincare Small Finance Bank (previously known as Disha Microfin Limited) kick-started its banking operations with about 25 operational branches across Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
The bank was given final small finance bank (SFB) licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in May this year. On the day of its launch, the bank raised over Rs. 225 crore of deposits from its about 1000-odd depositors.
This forms about 15 per cent of the bank's existing balance sheet of Rs. 2000 crore, which includes Rs. 1,350 crore as loans and advances, Rs. 450 crore as investments besides the deposits.
The bank started its operations with 25 branches, out of which nearly 50 per cent are located in Gujarat. The bank aims to be digitally driven, rural and semi-urban bank, focusing on the priority sectors and retail segments of micro and small enterprises.

RBI arm to launch model platform for blockchain technology soon
The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), an arm of the Reserve Bank of India, is developing a model platform for blockchain technology.
The platform will be suitable for different applications relevant to banking. central bank, IDRBT and fintech players could work together for commercial success of new technology platforms.

September 3

Five banks of BRICS nations sign pact for credit lines
Five banks of the BRICS Bank Cooperation Mechanism have agreed to establish credit lines in the national currencies and cooperate on credit ratings.
The agreement was signed ahead of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in China’s Xiamen city in which leaders of the five countries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi are scheduled to take part.
Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), Vnesheconombank, Export-Import Bank of India, China Development Bank and Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) have signed an agreement to establish credit lines in the national currencies, as well as a memorandum of cooperation on credit ratings.

September 4

BRICS development bank's first project starts operation in Shanghai
The first project funded by The New Development Bank, set up by India and other members of the BRICS grouping of emerging economies, and has started operation in Shanghai.
The USD 76 million loans with a maturity length of 17 years was granted to Shanghai Lingang Distributed Solar Power Project.
A distributed solar photo-voltaic power system with a total capacity of 100 megawatts will be built on the rooftops of factories in Lingang Industrial Area.
The NDB was launched in d Russia, India, China and South Africa as an alternative to The World Bank with an aim to funding infrastructure projects in BRICS and other developing countries.

DBS becomes second bank to get in-principle nod to operate as wholly-owned unit
Singapore-based bank DBS has got final approval to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) in India after a delay of two years.
DBS was the first foreign lender to apply for the new operating WOS model two years ago and its request is pending with the Ministry of Finance and the lack of a precedent was causing delays.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued the guidelines in late 2014 and DBS was the first to apply in early 2015, followed by at least two others including SBM Bank (Mauritius).
DBS is the second foreign lender after SBM (Mauritius) to get an in-principle approval to operate as WOS in India.

September 5

RBI gives HDFC Bank 'too big to fail' status along with SBI and ICICI
RBI included HDFC Bank in the list of too big to fail lenders, referred to as D-SIB or domestic systemically important bank. Indias largest lender SBI and private sector major ICICI Bank were classified as D-SIBs in 2015.
With the inclusion of HDFC Bank in the list, there will now be three too big to fail financial entities in the country. SIBs are subjected to higher levels of supervision so as to prevent disruption in financial services in the event of any failure.
The additional Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) requirement for D-SIBs has already been phased-in from April 1, 2016 and will become fully effective from April 1, 2019.
The additional CET1 or core capital requirement will be in addition to the capital conservation buffer.

September 6

Banks without Aadhaar enrolment centres face Rs 20000 fine from October
Banks without Aadhaar enrolment centres face Rs 20K fine from October. Indian Unique Identification Number Authority (UIDAI) has given more than one month to government and private banks to open Aadhaar enrolment centres in 10% of their branches.
From October 1, a penalty of Rs 20,000 will be imposed on every bank branch that has no registration center in their branches.
This means that if a bank has 100 branches, then it will have to open Aadhaar registration center in its 10 branches. By September 30, if bank fails to open such centers in 5 branches, then in the first month it will be fined one lakh rupees per branch for Rs 20 thousand per branch. Similarly, there will be a fine in the coming months.

SBI Introduces Its Own Chatbot SIA (SBI Intelligent Assistant), To Address Customer Queries
India's largest public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) has come up with its own Artificial Intelligence-powered chatbot who will take care of customer queries by giving out information on SBI's range of products and services.
SIA is designed to answer customer questions regarding home loans, education loans, car loans, personal loans, recurring deposit, term deposit, etc.
Its new digital platforms like SBI inTouch are widely using bots and artificial intelligence such as IBM Watson, to perform a variety of jobs, especially in improving customer experience.

September 7

Yes bank and IIM lucknow are partnering to scale-up post graduate programme in sustainable management course
YES BANK, India’s fifth largest private sector Bank, and Indian Institute of Management Lucknow (IIM-L) are signing a charter to further the common objective of spreading ‘Climate Literacy’ to achieve sustainable development through shared learning.
YES BANK will support IIM-L in updating the 2-year course curriculum in accordance with global standards, along with delivering guest lectures.
YES BANK will also arrange for site visits at various YES BANK CSR project locations, providing students with the opportunity to develop case studies based on these projects and understand the on-ground impact of CSR Intervention by the Bank.
YES BANK and IIM-L will also work together to develop knowledge reports on areas such as Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) parameters in business decision making, business case for Low Carbon Transition, among others.

Exide Life Insurance partners with PMC Bank to offer protection, savings products
Exide Life Insurance announced a partnership with Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Ltd (PMC Bank) to offer its protection and savings products to the customers of PMC bank. With this tie up, Exide Life Insurance consolidates its leadership in the co-operative bank segment.
PMC Bank is a Multi-State Scheduled Urban Co-operative Bank with its area of operation in the States of Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Its wide network will facilitate greater brand awareness for Exide Life Insurance and the latter's stronghold in insurance portfolios will aid PMC Bank with higher customer engagement.

September 8

SBI Life Insurance gets SEBI nod for Rs 8,400 crore IPO
India’s stock market regulator, Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) gave its nod to the insurance major SBI Life Insurance to launch its IPO of up to Rs 8,400 crore. The company is expected to make its stock market debut by September 20-22 of the current year.
The launch period of the IPO is further subjected to an approval from the Registrar of Companies, who will give a final nod to the proposal. The IPO will also include 12% of the insurer’s equity capital summing up to 120 million secondary shares.
The SBI presently holds 70.1% of the insurer and will sell off 8 crore shares, whereas, BNP Paribas Cardif which presently holds 26% stake will sell off 4 crore shares.
The other major shareholders of SBI Life are KKR Asian Fund and Temasek Holdings, that holds 1.95% stake through their subsidiaries. Axis, BNP, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, ICICI Securities, JM Financial, Kotak and SBI Capital will be the leads on the IPO.

Ujjivan Bank to replace loans with certificate deposits
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank will bring down its cost of funds by up to 150 basis points during the current financial year by replacing 75% of its bank loans with borrowings using money market instruments including certificate of deposits.
The new funding will come at rats which are much lower and closer to 7%. Even after adding the cost of maintaining statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) a mandatory requirement for banks, the costs of funds will go down by 150-200 basis points.
The decision follows the grant of a scheduled bank status to Ujjivan. SFB has most of the features of a commercial bank including recognition as a scheduled bank. This means that the institution can raise money from the inter-bank money market.

HDFC Bank’s ‘Eva’ Becomes India’s Largest, Smartest Chatbot
HDFC Bank’s artificial intelligence-based chatbot ‘Eva’ has achieved the title of India’s largest chatbot, by successfully addressing over 2.7 million customer queries in just six months.
Built by Bengaluru-based Senseforth AI Research, EVA or Electronic Virtual Assistant was launched in March earlier this year. Since then, Eva has interacted with over 530,000 unique users and has addressed over 1.2 million queries.
Eva currently handles over 50,000 semantic variations for thousands of banking-related intents, tracks and analyses everyday customer issues and gains a deeper understanding of their behaviour patterns.
Eva’s everyday interactions with users go through a conceptual banking knowledge framework which in turn enhances her ability to field more questions accurately.

September 9

United Bank of India waives retail loan processing fees up to 100 per cent
United Bank of India has decided to waive processing fees for home loans, car loans and two-wheeler loans to woo customers.
The home loan market has been the major driver of retail loan growth for banks in the absence of corporate and large project loans.
UBI's home loans are available at 8.55 per cent rate irrespective of loan size and tenure. The bank is also offering 50 per cent wavier on processing fees for mortgage loans, personal loans and gold loans.

US banking regulators shut down Pakistan's Habib Bank amid money laundering concerns
US banking regulators ordered Pakistan's Habib Bank to shutter its New York office after nearly 40 years, for repeatedly failing to heed concerns over possible terrorist financing and money laundering.
Habib, Pakistan's largest private bank, neglected to watch for compliance problems and red flags on transactions that potentially could have promoted terrorism, money laundering or other illicit ends.
The state's Department of Financial Services, which regulates foreign banks, also slapped a $225 million fine on the bank, although that is much smaller than the $629.6million penalty initially proposed.
Habib has operated in the United States since 1978, and in 2006 was ordered to tighten its oversight of potentially illegal transactions but failed to comply.

September 10

PNB, BSNL join hands for mobile wallet Speedpay roll out
Punjab National Bank and state-run firm BSNL teamed up to roll out open mobile wallet Speedpay across 10 states in the country.
PNBs Speedway wallet will operate like any other mobile wallet for paying bills, recharging phone besides its users will be able to deposit and withdraw money from authorised retail outlets.
Also, Speedway users will be able to operate Internet banking services from the application.
Under the agreement, BSNL will expand Speedpay services in Punjab, Chandigarh (UT), Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.

ICICI Bank set to mop up Rs. 2,099 cr on stake dilution in insurance arm
ICICI Bank will rake in as much as Rs. 2,099 crore, as it will be offloading a part - 7 per cent - of its current 62.95 per cent stake in ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company via the latter’s initial public offering.
ICICI Bank’s average cost of acquisition is Rs. 43.62 per equity share of ICICI Lombard General Insurance while the IPO price band has been fixed at Rs. 651-661 per equity share.
FAL (an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings), the joint venture partner in the general insurance company, too will be cutting its stake from 21.92 per cent to 9.91 per cent via the IPO.

September 11

Asian Development Bank to provide $152 million to Nepal to enhance power transmission
The Asian Development Bank will provide a USD 152 million to Nepal for the implementation and enhancement of its power transmission and distribution. The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Nepal’s Ministry of Finance signed the loan agreement in Kathmandu.
The aid will be granted to the Power Transmission and Distribution Efficiency Enhancement Project (PTDEEP) which supports expansion of the transmission lines in various areas of Nepal and enhancement of the distribution efficiency in the northern part of Kathmandu.
The project, having a 4 to 5-year completion period, would incorporate various components such as construction of transmission lines, upgrading sub-stations in Barhabise, Laphsiphedi, Khimti and Chapagaun areas and the rehabilitation and capacity enhancement of distribution system in Kathmandu Valley.

September 12

Banks need $65 bn additional capital to meet Basel III norms: Fitch
Indian banks will require about $65 billion in additional capital, lower than estimated earlier, to meet the Basel III capital adequacy norms by March 2019 and push loan growth.
This is lower than the US-based credit rating agency’s previous estimate of $90 billion, largely as a result of asset rationalisation and weaker-than-expected loan growth.
State-owned banks which account for 95 per cent of the estimated shortage have limited options to raise the capital they still require.

Bharat Financial Inclusion signs pact with IndusInd Bank to explore merger
Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd, India’s first listed micro lender is in a pact with IndusInd Bank Ltd for exploring a merger.
Bharat Financial has entered into an exclusivity agreement with IndusInd Bank for agreeing to have an exclusive discussion with IndusInd Bank about the proposed potential strategic combination by way of amalgamation through a scheme of arrangement, or any other suitable structure.
The transaction will be subject to due diligence approval of the boards, shareholders, statutory/regulatory and other third-party entities, as required under the applicable laws.

September 13

Paytm Payments Bank Partners With NPCI for RuPay-Powered Digital Debit Card
Paytm Payments Bank (PPB) has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch a RuPay-powered digital debit card.
With the PPB Digital debit card, customers will now be able to transact at all merchants who accept credit and debit cards. The RuPay-powered digital debit card will be issued to all customers who have opened their bank accounts with PPB.
Existing Paytm users need to complete a KYC process to become an account holder with PPB. Following this, they will be issued a free digital RuPay card.
This debit card will come with a free insurance cover of up to Rs. 2 lakh in the case of death or permanent total disability.

HDFC Bank surpassed TCS to become 2nd most valuable company on BSE
HDFC Bank surpassed Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to become the country’s second most valued firm in terms of market valuation.
During the trade, the market capitalisation (m-cap) of HDFC Bank stood at Rs. 4,73,530.72 crore, which was Rs. 797.4 crore more than TCS’ Rs. 4,72,733.32 crore valuation.
Shares of HDFC Bank gained 0.93 per cent to Rs. 1,840 - its 52-week high - on the BSE. TCS shares rose 0.36 per cent to Rs. 2,472.65.
Shares of HDFC Bank have surged nearly 53 per cent so far this year, while that of TCS rose nearly 5 per cent.

Rs 100 coins to be introduced to mark MG Ramachandaran birth centenary
The Ministry of Finance issued a notification on the introduction of Rs 100 coins to commemorate the birth centenary of AIADMK founder, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Dr MG Ramachandaran and renowned Carnatic singer Dr MS Subbulakshmi.
The Reserve Bank of India will also issue new Rs 5 and Rs 10 coins. The coins will bear Ramachandaran's portrait in the centre along with the inscription 'DR M G Ramachandran Birth Centenary' on the lower periphery.
The coins of the following denominations (Rs 100 and Rs 5) shall also be coined under the authority of the Central Government to commemorate the occasion of Dr MG Ramachandran birth centenary.

September 14

World Bank allocates $8b for china’s silk road economic belt projects
The World Bank allocated about $8 billion for infrastructure projects of the Chinese initiative - Silk Road Economic Belt.
The World Bank has already provided a total of about $8 billion to help develop infrastructure within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt. The investment, especially in infrastructure. The Chinese initiative of the Silk Road Economic Belt catalyzes infrastructure investments.
The Silk Road Economic Belt comprises 6 corridors which connect five central Asian countries, Iran and the Persian Gulf region, Transcaucasia, Turkey and the Saudi Arabian Peninsula.

Government directs over 1200 NGOs to validate their bank accounts
Home Ministry has directed over 1200 NGOs across the country to validate their bank accounts in which they receive foreign contribution.
A number of such non-governmental organizations have not validated their foreign contribution designated accounts which are causing problems for the banks to comply with the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) provisions.
All NGOs registered under the FCRA should receive foreign donations in a single designated bank account. These associations are required to validate their foreign designated accounts and also the utilization accounts immediately and send the details. Non-compliance may lead to penal actions as per FCRA 2010.
The Centre has already cancelled registration of more than ten thousand NGOs in the last three years for alleged non-filing of annual returns as mandated in the FCRA.

September 15

All 1.55 Lakh Post Offices to Offer Payments Bank Service by 2018
All 1.55 lakh post offices and every postman and ‘grameen dak sevak‘ in India will be equipped with a device that will provide full range of payment solutions. India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) is now gearing up to provide its financial services through all of 1.55 lakh post offices and 3 lakh employees by the end of 2018.
Also, 1,000 ATMs of India Post will be transferred to IPPB. The India Post, incorporated as a public sector bank under the Department of Posts with 100% government of India equity, was launched on January 30, 2017.
India Post Payments Bank offers an interest rate of 4.5 per cent on deposits up to Rs 25,000, 5 per cent on Rs 25,000 - 50,000 and 5.5 per cent on Rs. 50,000 - 1,00,000. It also provides current accounts and access to third party financial services like insurance, mutual funds, pension, and more, its website adds.

HSBC in tie-up with Sa-Dhan to develop digital ecosystem for India’s unbanked segment
HSBC has entered into an agreement with microfinance industry association Sa-Dhan to develop digital ecosystem for India’s unbanked segment.
Bank will provide technology expertise to train and educate microfinance consumers at grassroots level and introduce digital banking to promote easier and time-efficient financial transaction among the so-called bottom-of-the-pyramid customer.
To digitise the microfinance ecosystem and render it cashless, the pilot with HSBC will provide us a path to empower MFI clients.
HSBC will run a pilot in West Bengal, Punjab, Karnataka & Maharashtra, benefiting 1200 consumers. The pilot run will involve creating digital hubs with POS machines and internet connectivity.

September 16

Amazon ties up with Bank of Baroda to offer micro-loans to sellers
Amazon India is ensuring that sellers on its platform have adequate working capital. The Company has tied up with Bank of Baroda to provide unsecured micro-loans, as low as ₹1 lakh, at interest rates as low as 10.45-11 per cent.
With the Bank of Baroda tie-up, the company wants to cater to every strata of sellers. The bank will at present offer the loans on an invite-only basis to the marketplace sellers.
The firm’s arm, Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd (ASSPL), is bringing in more financial partners so that it can cater to its 225,000 seller base.
The company had partnered with Capital First Limited, an independent Mumbai-based non-banking financial company (NBFC), for the programme. Capital First provides secured and unsecured loans to sellers from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 2 crore at competitive interest rates.

IndusInd Bank bags $200 mn-loan from ADB to lend rural women borrowers
IndusInd Bank has secured up to $200 million (about Rs 1,282 crore) loan from multilateral lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) to serve low income women borrowers in rural areas.
The 7-year senior loan will go towards IndusInd Bank's micro-finance activities. This will help the bank to expand its efforts to finance underserved people of the country in less developed states.
As per the loan agreement, about 95 per cent of the ADB funding is to go towards credit to women borrowers.
The loan pact was inked by Christine Engstrom, Director of ADB's Private Sector Operations Department, IndusInd Bank chief financial officer S Zaregaonkar and Arun Khurana, Head of IndusInd Bank's Global Markets Group.

September 17

Airtel Payments Bank launches UPI enabled digital payments
Airtel Payments Bank integrated the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) on its digital platform, allowing customer choice and convenience to facilitate secure digital payments.
Airtel Payments Bank has become the first payments bank in India to integrate the UPI on its digital platform. It would secure digital payments to online/offline merchants and instant money transfers to any bank account in India.
Customers can also use MyAirtel app (bank section) to scan any UPI QR code for making merchant payments. Online and offline merchants can leverage Airtel Payments Bank as a payment mode to accept payments seamlessly from their customers.

September 18

Google Tez UPI-Based Digital Payments App Launched in India
Google has launched a new digital payments app – Tez. Tez, which means ‘fast’ in Hindi, is a UPI-based app that can be used for online transactions, as well as paying offline at stores.
All transactions on Tez are secured by ‘Tez Shield’ that detects fraud, prevents hacking, and verifies identity. The company has partnered with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, and State Bank of India for the backend.
Google is also incentivizing transactions via Tez. Users have the opportunity to win Tez Scratch Cards worth up to ₹1,000 and get enrolled for the weekly Lucky Sundays draw of Rs. 1 lakh.
Google also offers ‘Tez for Business’ that allows businesses to get their own Business Channels on the Tez app where they can engage directly with their customers to share offers and more.

September 19

SBI reviewing minimum balance charges for savings accounts
State Bank of India (SBI) is reviewing charges for certain categories of accounts for non- maintenance of monthly average balance (MAB) after receiving feedback from customers.
As per the list of revised charges of SBI, in metropolitan areas, there will be a charge of Rs 100 plus GST, if the balance falls below 75 per cent of the MAB of Rs 5,000. If the shortfall is 50 per cent or less of the MAB, then the bank will charge Rs 50 plus GST.
In rural areas, the monthly average balance requirement has been kept at Rs 1,000. Any shortfall in maintaining minimum balance in rural areas can attract penalty in the range of Rs 20 to Rs 50 plus GST.
In April this year, the country’s largest lender reintroduced charges on non-maintenance of monthly average balance (MAB) after a gap of five years.

September 20

RBI to classify peer-to-peer lending platforms to be classified as NBFCs
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) all non-bank players engaged in the business of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending would be classified as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
The business of a peer to peer lending platform’ shall mean the business of providing under a contract, the service of loan facilitation, via online medium or otherwise, to the participants who have entered into an arrangement with that platform to lend on it or to avail of loan facilitation services provided by it.
A P2P lender is typically a fintech platform which helps lenders and prospective borrowers get in touch with each other.
In India, three broad categories of fintech lenders operate those who connect individual lenders to borrowers, those who help institutional lenders identify suitable borrowers for their products, and those who disburse loans off their own books.

September 21

SBI Card to offer pre-approved cards to SBI customers
SBI Card, the second largest credit card selling company after HDFC Bank, is all set to offer pre-approved cards to customers of its parent State Bank of India.
It has entered into a tripartite agreement with SBI and India’s first credit bureau TransUnion Cibil to this end. The agreement will allow the credit bureau to check the credentials of SBI customers and SBI Card to leverage the data.
There is some obvious synergy between SBI and SBI Card and SBI Card started tapping SBI customers. SBI has 50 crore customers and SBI Card get at least 1% of it, it will be in line with our target to double card base.

Fino Payments Bank launches mobile banking app BPay
Fino Payments Bank has launched its mobile banking app called BPay. Fino, which started its banking operations in July with 410 branches and 25,000 access points, aims to make banking easy for millions of under banked people in India.
The mobile banking app enables simple, paperless and convenient banking that allows customers to make bill payments, recharges, fund transfers and buy insurance either through wallet or bank account.
An interesting feature of the mobile app is that it allows customers to seamlessly access wallet as well as savings account, with a single login and interface.
BPay is also an extension of its already existing wallet in the same name that was launched in December last year. The upgraded BPay app, available on Android at present, is now much more than just a wallet.

September 22

Nabard Sanctions Rs 119 Crore Loan For Haryana
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned a loan of about Rs 119 crore to construct seven bridges and improvement of one rural road project in five districts of Haryana.
Under rural bridges and road project, construction of seven bridges and one road would be undertaken in Ambala, Panchkula, Sonepat, Yamunanagar and Panipat districts of Haryana involving RIDF (Rural Infrastructure Development Fund) loan of Rs 28.25 crore.
The loan has been sanctioned for construction of 167 government veterinary hospitals and dispensaries in all districts and one drinking water supply project in Rewari district.
The implementation of the project will provide better connectivity in rural Haryana and is expected to generate about 2.71 lakh work days of non-recurring employment during implementation.

September 23

SBI launches India’s first bond index series at London Stock Exchange
State Bank of India (SBI) has launched the FTSE SBI Bond Index series in partnership with global index provider FTSE 100, which it is hoped will give tools to investors from India, the UK and globally to analyse India’s government bond market, and drive growth in this market.
With the launch of this index along with FTSE Russell, our intention is to give people a benchmark on which they can make investment calls.
With respect to the Indian government bond market, didn’t have any international indices on which investors could take a call as to whether they would like to come in and invest.

Infosys Finacle Partners with ToneTag to Offer Sound-Based Contactless Payments Solution
Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infosys, announced a partnership with ToneTag, a provider of near-field communications, payments and location based services using sound waves.
Through this partnership, Finacle and ToneTag will offer a joint solution that will leverage the latter’s sound wave technology to enable proximity payments and interactions.
Leveraging this joint solution, banks will now enable their consumers to authenticate themselves and transact at bank branches, ATMs and retail outlets, in a highly secure, fast and seamless manner.
Consumers can make payments with a tap of their phone, which will expedite the checkout process at merchant location, and improve the overall shopping experience.

SEBI Imposes Rs 9 Lakh Fine On ING Vysya Bank’s Former Official
Market regulator SEBI imposed a penalty of Rs 9 lakh on ING Vysya Bank's former official for violating insider trading regulations.
The fine was levied on Vinay Agrawal, who was regional head of business banking in ING from August 2011 till June 20, 2012. Later, he held the position of zonal head of cluster business banking till October 10, 2013.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India had initiated adjudication proceedings against Agrawal, who was alleged to have not complied with PIT (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations.
After conducting an examination of trading in the shares of ING Vysya Bank from August 2011 to May 2013, SEBI found that Agrawal traded in the shares valuing over Rs 5 lakh four times. This led to change in shareholding for more than Rs 5 lakh in value on January 17-18, 2012 and May 2-3, 2013.

September 24

State Bank of India Launches Management Institute In Kolkata
State Bank of India unveiled its sixth apex management training facility in Kolkata. Named as State Bank Institute of Management (SBIM), the facility was launched by SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya.
SBIM has been established with the primary objective to build an institution of global standards that is an epitome of excellence in banking & finance, with focus on high-caliber action-based research and critical capacity building.
The focus of the Institute will be to provide training, education, mobilize intellectual resource materials to drive result-oriented research, knowledge management and talent spotting.
At present, of the five such institutes run by the bank, three are in Hyderabad and one each in Gurgaon and Indore. SBI's training infrastructure in terms of facilities, content, programmes, trainers etc. is the largest in the Indian Banking space.

Masala bonds to be treated as ECBs (External Commercial Borrowings) from Oct 3: RBI
The Reserve Bank relaxed norms for issuance of rupee-denominated overseas bonds, popularly known as masala bonds, they will be treated as external commercial borrowings from October 3, thereby freeing up more investments by FPIs.
Currently, the limit for investment by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in corporate bonds is Rs. 2,44,323 crore. This covers issuance of masala bonds by resident entities of Rs. 44,001 crore, including the ones in pipeline.
From October 3, masala bonds will no longer form part of the limit for FPI investments in corporate bonds. They will form part of the ECBs and will be monitored accordingly.
As a result, Rs. 44,001 crore arising out of shifting of masala bonds will be released for foreign portfolio investor (FPI) investment in corporate bonds over the next two quarters.

September 25

SBI Launches Chatbot To Help Customers In Banking Activities
Artificial intelligence banking platform Payjo has launched an AI-powered chat assistant for State Bank of India to addresses customer enquiries.
The chat assistant, known as SBI Intelligent Assistant, or SIA, will help customers with everyday banking tasks just like a bank representative. SIA is a revolution in the banking industry. It is set to disrupt the way banks and customers interact.
SIA has been set up to handle nearly 10,000 enquiries per second, or 864 million in a day, which is nearly 25 per cent of the queries processed by Google every day.
SIA will enhance customer service several notches above. Payjo's expertise in the conversational banking domain helped us build SIA as a superior chatbot in the global banking space.

SBI opens new branch in Singapore
The State Bank of India (SBI) opened its sixth branch in Singapore, extending its services in the country’s heartland. The new branch has come up in Ang Mo Kio area, which is popular for its housing estates. The SBI already operates branches in housing estates Marine Parade and the industrial estate of Jurong.
It has two branches in Little India precinct as well as one in the central business district. About 80 per cent of our customers are Chinese and the rest are high net worth Indians.
The SBI offers the highest interest rates on deposits among other banks, handles wealth management, insurance and rupee remittances among a wide range of services. The new branch underlines the SBI’s growing banking business in Singapore.

September 26

RBI caps bank investments in PE funds at 10%
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred banks from investing in category III alternative investment funds (AIFs), specified norms for their participation in commodity derivatives clearing and tweaked rules on investing in financial services firms.
Banks may invest as much as 10% in the paid-up capital/unit capital in category I and II funds, but cannot invest in category III funds. So far, there was no specific rule on investing in AIFs.
No bank shall (make) investment of more than 10% of the paid-up capital/unit capital in a category I/ category II alternative investment fund.
Banks wishing to undertake commodities derivatives clearing must set up a separate subsidiary for the purpose and adhere to membership criteria of stock exchanges and Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulations.

SBI revises service charges on maintaining monthly average balance
State Bank of India (SBI) has reviewed the requirement of maintaining Monthly Average Balance (MAB) and the charges for non-maintenance of MAB. JAN DHAN Accounts have never been subject to any charges.
For non-maintenance of MAB, the charges have also been revised downward ranging from 20% to 50% across all population groups and categories.
The charges at semi-urban and rural centres range from Rs 20 to Rs 40 and at urban and metro centres from Rs 30 to Rs 50. The revised MAB requirement and charges will become applicable from the month of October 2017.
SBI has now been decided to exempt the pensioners, beneficiaries of social benefits from the Government and accounts of Minors.
The Bank has also decided to treat the metro and urban centres in the same category and the requirement of MAB in metro centres stands reduced to Rs 3,000.

September 27

IDBI Bank launches Project Nishchay to improve financial performance
IDBI Bank has launched ‘Project Nishchay’ in partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to accelerate its turnaround programme and improve financial performance. The project will be led by senior management at the IDBI Bank along with BCG.
BCG will assist us to identify areas for cost containment and revenue maximisation leading to sustainable growth and profitability of the Bank.
IDBI Bank has the highest ratio of bad loans among listed banks with a gross NPA ratio of over 24 percent. The bank is also under the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) prompt corrective action framework which means that the bank has to conserve capital and find ways to return to profitability.

Standard Chartered, Citibank become shareholders in Swift India
Standard Chartered and Citibank have picked up stake in global financial messaging service Swift’s local arm, becoming the first foreign lenders to invest in the platform.
Swift India was formed in 2012 as a joint venture between the global cooperative Swift Scril and nine leading domestic banks. This is its second round of capital raising.
Other lender shareholders in the company include Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India and Union Bank of India. Both Standard Chartered Bank as well as Citi linked the investment to their respective efforts to promote digitisation.

September 28

Air India ties up with PNB, IndusInd Bank for Rs 3,250 cr loan
Air India has tied up with public sector lender Punjab National Bank and private lender IndusInd Bank to secure loans to the tune of over Rs 3,000 crore for meeting working capital requirements.
the disinvestment-bound Air India had floated tenders for availing government guarantee backed INR short-term loans totalling up to Rs 3,250 crore in the first phase to meet its urgent working capital.
Banks were asked to submit their financial bids by September 19, indicating the amount of government-guaranteed short-term loans they were willing to offer.
Under a turnaround plan approved by the previous UPA government, Air India is to receive up to Rs 30,231 crore from the government subject to meeting certain performance thresholds. The 10-year bailout package began from 2012.

Karnataka Bank opens its first Aadhar Enrollment and Updation centre
Karnataka Bank opened its first Aadhaar enrolment and updation centre at the Sanjaynagar branch in Bengaluru.
The bank will come out with 80 such centres across India in a phased manner. Citizens can make use of these centres for getting their Aadhaar number and making modifications, if any, in Aadhaar records.

ADB plans to increase annual lending up to $4 bn to India
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to raise its annual lending to India from an average $2.65 billion per year at present to $4 billion to help propel Asia’s third largest economy towards upper middle-income status.
In 2016, ADB assistance to all its 67 member countries totalled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in co-financing.
In a new ADB Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the next five years (2018-22) and endorsed, during the period, it will focus on three pillars of activities: boosting economic competitiveness to create more and well-paid jobs; improved access to infrastructure and services; and addressing climate change and improving climate resilience.

IDBI Bank sells 9% stake in SIDBI
IDBI Bank has sold 9 percent stake in Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for an undisclosed amount in a bid to mobilise funds by exiting the non-core business.
IDBI Bank has sold further 4, 80, 41,092 equity shares constituting 9.03 percent of the paid-up capital of SIDBI. Earlier the bank sold one percent stake in Sidbi.
The board of the bank had approved in-principle proposal to divest some of its non-core investments, subject to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and final approval obtained for each transaction.

ADB approves USD 80 mn loan for modernisation of TVET in HP
ADB has approved a loan of USD 80 million (about Rs 524 crore) for modernisation of Himachal Pradesh’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.
The total cost of the project is USD 100 million, with the Centre contributing USD 20 million. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
Specifically, the project will align Himachal Pradesh’s TVET programmes to national skills certification standards, thereby, improving the employability and employment prospects of nearly 65,000 youth from 2017 to 2022.
The project will establish a polytechnic for women, six city livelihood centers, and seven rural livelihood centers, upgrade 11 employment and exchanges into model career centers to build TVET awareness among youth.

September 29

ICICI Bank’s new home loan offers 1% cash-back for every EMI
ICICI Bank launched a new home loan product that offers borrowers the benefit of 1 per cent cash-back for every equated monthly instalment (EMI) over the entire loan tenure. The EMI cash-back benefit is available for fresh home loans with minimum tenure of 15 years.
This loan allows borrowers, resident as well as non-resident Indians, to select their preferred mode of cash-back they can choose to utilise the cash-back to prepay the principal outstanding of their home loan or take credit in their ICICI Bank account. There is no restriction on the loan amount for availing the cash-back EMI facility.
Illustratively, if a borrower takes a ₹30-lakh loan for 30 years, according to the bank, if he opts to utilise the cash-back to prepay the principal outstanding of his home loan, then this will aggregate to ₹3, 24,801 over the entire loan tenure. If the borrower opts for credit of the cash-back into the ICICI Bank account then it will amount to ₹81,897.

September 30

SBI to raise Rs 99 crore from share buyback by dealership arm
State Bank of India (SBI) will tender shares worth over Rs 99 crore as part of a share buyback programme by its subsidiary SBI DFHI. SBI is tendering 19,11,974 shares held by it under the buyback of shares being done by SBI DFHI.
As per the buyabck offer, SBI will get Rs 99.42 crore from SBI DFHI. The shares will be tendered at a price of Rs 520.
SBI DFHI is engaged into book building and primary auctions of government securities. It also participates in the domestic interest rate derivatives and equity futures.
Currently, SBI holds the largest shareholding of 72.17% in the subsidiary. Rest of 22.32% is owned by banks and 5.51% by financial institutions.

Small savings interest rate unchanged for Oct-Dec quarter
The government kept unchanged the interest rates on small savings schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi for October-December quarter.
The rates of interest on various small savings scheme for the third quarter of the financial year 2017-18 starting October 1 shall remain unchanged from those notified for the second quarter of 2017-18.
Since April last year, interest rates of all small saving schemes have been recalibrated on a quarterly basis. The Reserve Bank of India is scheduled to undertake monetary policy review on October 4.
Investments in the public provident fund (PPF) scheme will fetch annual rate of 7.8 per cent while Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) investments will yield 7.5 per cent and mature in 115 months.