Thursday, August 21, 2014

B.K. Iyengar, yoga guru died

Mr.B.K.S.Iyengar, 95 year old died in a hospital in Pune on Wednesday August 20, 2014.
His name is associated with Yoga. He started Krishnamachari Yoga Mandira , Chennai which brought yoga for people other than elite public. This is situate near my house in Chennai.
He took pains to see that yoga is practised properly. Now yoga is introduced in Chennai Medical College, prisons, companies. Companies started introducing yoga in their training programs. He is known to be an innovator in teaching and practising yoga.
He was very active that in his nineties also he use to climb four stair to reach the auditorium while the youngsters used the lifts.
He use to tell his students "do not run after students. If you do yoga properly students will come after you."
May his soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

RBI Governor launches Indian Bank's mobile branches

July 12, 2014

Indian Bank has, as part of the urban financial inclusion initiative, launched two mobile branches with ATM facility in Chennai.
"Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram G Rajan recently launched two mobile branches with ATM facility to provide banking services in areas of Royapuram, Tiruvotriyur, Tondiarpet in North Chennai and Kannagi Nagar, Thanthai Periyar Nagar and Semmencherry in South Chennai," the Chennai-based Indian Bank said in a release on Saturday.
Under the financial inclusion initiative, Indian Bank has provided banking services to 5,098 villages, of which 4,934 villages have been covered through smart card enabled business correspondent model, the release said.
Chairman and Managing Director TM Bhasin said the bank already operates eight mobile branches providing banking services in 70 villages.
He said two more similar mobile branches with ATM facility would be launched soon in Mumbai and New Delhi.

Appointment of 3 NBFC s for setting up of White Label ATMs by RBI

Reserve Bank has authorised three non-banking entities for setting up white label ATMs with a view to increase financial inclusion.

Certificates of authorisation has been issued to BTI Payments Pvt Ltd, Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd, and RiddiSiddhi Bullions Ltd, RBI said in a statement on Tuesday.

Most of the ATMs belong to banks, but the cash dispensing machines which are owned and operated by non-banking companies are called White Label ATMs.

This is in addition to the four entities already authorised to operate as WLAs namely Tata Communications Payment Solutions, Prizm Payment Services Pvt. Ltd, Muthoot Finance Limited and Vakrangee Ltd.
In June 2012, the RBI had issued policy guidelines permitting non-bank entities to set up and operate WLAs. Prior to this, only banks were permitted to set up and operate ATMs in the country.

The primary objective of permitting non-banks to operate WLAs, RBI said, was to enhance the spread of ATMs in semi-urban and rural areas (mainly in tier III to VI areas), where bank-owned ATM penetration was not growing.

Under the new guidelines, certain minimum number of WLAs need to be installed in these areas within a year as per the scheme opted by the respective operators

Thursday, August 14, 2014

RBI caps free usage of cross-bank ATMs to 3 a month

Reserve Bank of India has cut the number of free transactions that savings bank customers can avail from other bank's Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) from the present five to three a month. It has also allowed banks to charge customers if they use their own bank ATM more than five times a month. New charges will apply for transactions done at ATMs located in six metro centres, namely, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

"Given the growth in cash access points and taking into account the associated costs of infrastructure to banks and the economy more generally, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to revise the existing directions relating to the use of automated teller machines (ATMs) and charges on their use," Reserve Bank of India said in a statement issued here on Friday. The new norms will come into effect from November 1, 2014. TOI had reported in its edition on August 1st that a move was afoot to reduce the number of free transactions in third-party ATMs.

State Bank of India has been among those lobbying for charges. The bank's chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya had earlier said "The loss from ATMs is very concerning. I would like to roll out many more ATMs. I am ready to do that, but I need to explain also how I am going to sustain this." Bankers said that the new charge structure was aimed at correcting the lop-sided development of ATMs in the country. Banks continued to install ATMs in cities, despite high level of concentration, as these could be used to cross-see other products. However, there was a reluctance to grow the network in rural areas. Bankers said that the move by RBI would reduce the number of transactions in metros and could lead to some level of consolidation.

New charges will apply for transactions done at ATMs located in six metro centres, namely, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. (TOI photo)

This reduction will, however, not apply to customers having no-frills/small/Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) type of accounts as well as for transactions done by savings bank account holders at ATMs situated outside these six metro centres. Banks are also free to offer free transactions above this mandated limit. "Further, taking into account the scopes for cross-subsidisation and with a view to ensuring more transparency in the pricing of these transactions, banks have been advised to provide their savings bank account holders with at least five free transactions per month at their own ATMs. Beyond this, banks may decide to levy transaction charges (not exceeding `Rs 20 plus applicable taxes per transaction) which are decided in a transparent manner," said RBI

"The policy framework of the Reserve Bank has aimed at fostering the growth of non-cash payments. The number of ATMs which stood at a little over 27,000 as at end-March 2007, has increased to over 1.6 lakh across the country by end-March 2014. The Point-of-Sale (POS) infrastructure has increased from 3.2 lakh to 10.65 lakh terminals between end-March 2007 and end-March 2014. It is, however, observed that the development of other payment mechanisms and related infrastructure is more visible in metropolitan areas in the country," RBI said.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

RBI revises norms for mortgage guarantee firms

The Reserve Bank on Friday revised guidelines for mortgage guarantee companies and said that guarantees provided by them may be treated as contingent liabilities, for which credit conversion factor would be 50 per cent.
"While calculating capital adequacy of MGCs, mortgage guarantees provided may be treated as contingent liabilities and the credit conversion factor applicable to these contingent liabilities will be 50 per cent as against the present 100 per cent," RBI said in a notification.
The revision of guidelines on mortgage guarantee companies came after RBI received representations from the industry.
As per the extant guidelines, MGCs have to provide for a lower appropriation to contingency reserves if provisions made towards losses exceeded 35 per cent of the premium or fee earned during a financial year, but it does not specify the exact level of such contingency reserves.
"In such a case, contingency reserves could go to a minimum of 24 per cent of the premium or fee earned, such that the aggregate of provisions made towards losses and contingency reserves is at least 60 per cent of the premium or fee earned during a financial year," the RBI said.
An MGC may now utilise contingency reserves without prior RBI approval for the purpose of meeting and making good losses suffered by mortgage guarantee holders.
However, such a measure can be initiated only after exhausting all other avenues and options to recoup losses.
The new guidelines said that investments made towards government securities, government guaranteed securities and bonds not exceeding the MGC's capital may now be treated as "held to maturity" (HTM), for the purpose of valuation and accounted for accordingly.
Investments classified under HTM need not be marked to market and would be carried at acquisition cost, unless it is more than the face value, the RBI notification said.
The book value of the security should continue to be reduced to the extent of the amount amortised during the relevant accounting period.
However, if any security out of this HTM category is traded before maturity, the entire lot would be treated as securities held for trade and would have to be marked to market, the RBI said.


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