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Friday, June 28, 2013

India Post applies for bank licence

MUMBAI: With the Reserve Bank of India's deadline for applying for a bank licence fast approaching, the number of companies that have joined the list is rising. IndiaInfoline, Bajaj Finserv and the India Post are among the recent entities that have joined the ranks of licence seekers. 

"Bajaj Finserv Ltd has submitted its application to Reserve Bank of India on June 26, 2013 for a Licence to commence banking business in terms of section 22 of the Banking Companies Act, 1949. It is proposed to do this by converting its subsidiary Bajaj Finance Ltd into a Bank in terms of RBI Guidelines for Licensing of New Banks in the Private Sector dated February 22, 2013" the company said in a statement. 

Although the postal department has been expressing its ambitions to float a bank for long, RBI would have to create a special dispensation for India Post as it does not fit into several of the criteria prescribed by the central bank. Besides the prescribed norms, the postal department would face a huge challenge in putting in place a core banking solution that would facilitate a centralized view of all its accounts. However, there are many who feel that the postal department is ideally suited to spread RBI's objectives of financial inclusion. The department already mobilizes small investments through the postal saving scheme and it has a network that is larger than any bank. 

IFCI, Bajaj Finserv, India Infoline would join a host of other entities like Religare Enterprises,Aditya Birla group, JM Financial and Srei, which have lined up plans to foray into the banking sector.

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