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Banking News :: October 17, 2013

HSBC shuts brokerage arm in India; around 300 lose jobs:
British financial giant HSBC on Thursday said it will be shutting its struggling retail brokerage and depository business in the country, five years after it entered the segment by pumping in over $290 million.Nearly 300 employees of the company stand to lose their jobs due to the decision, according to sources.

SBH rolls out new loan schemes with an eye on festival season :
The State Bank of Hyderabad has launched two new loan schemes aimed at giving a boost to the sales of consumer durables and two-wheelers this festival season. The interest rates for the schemes start at 12 per cent per annum, a statement from the bank said. The schemes, Grahak Utsav and Gen Next, would be open from October 14 till January 31, 2014. The bank has slashed the interest rate for the Gen Next scheme by 495 basis points — from the existing 17.45 per cent to 12.50 per cent. It is also offering 50 per cent concession in processing charges subject to a maximum of Rs 500 during the campaign period. Existing home or mortgage loan customers with no overdues are also eligible for a special concession of 50 basis points on the interest rate charged.

To go after bad loans, IDBI Bank charts out 3-pronged strategy :
IDBI Bank plans to expand its branch and ATM networks by over 70 per cent and 150 per cent, respectively, in three years to attract retail business — both deposits and loans. By March-end 2015, the bank is looking to grow its branch network to 2,000 from 1,159 now. It also plans to add 3,057 ATMs to its network, taking the total number of these cash-vending machines to 5,000. Because of the limited branch network, IDBI Bank’s retail and priority sector loans portfolio, and low-cost deposits (Current Account and Savings Account or CASA) are substantially lower those of other PSBs, M.S. Raghavan, Chairman and Managing Director, IDBI Bank pointed out. Of the total deposits of Rs 1, 83,277 crore, CASA deposits accounted for 21 per cent, and term deposits (including wholesale deposits), the balance.

Switzerland now agrees to share bank details with foreign investigators :
In legislation that will come into force on November 1, the Bern-based Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) said the authorities will be able to release the numbers of bank accounts opened in the country to foreign investigators. A day earlier, Switzerland, widely considered a tax haven and long criticized for its secretive banking culture, signed an international agreement to exchange information among more than 60 countries aimed at exposing tax dodgers. The MROS will be able to release banking information only if someone is formally investigated for money laundering.

Infra status gives hotels room to raise cheap funds :
The Centre has extended ‘infrastructure’ status for all hotel projects, fulfilling a long-pending demand of large hoteliers. This means projects with a capital cost of Rs 200 crore or more will be able to access cheaper funds. Infrastructure status will help hoteliers get loans at low interest rates with a longer repayment period. Also, hotel developers can access funds raised through infrastructure bonds issued by institutions such as IIFCL and IDFC. Money mobilized through tax-free bonds can be made available at 1.5-2 per cent lower than traditional source of financing.

HDFC Bank posts slowest profit growth in a decade :
HDFC Bank posted its slowest quarterly profit growth in a decade due to moderation in credit growth and tight liquidity conditions impacting interest income and margins. The country’s second largest private sector lender reported a 27 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 1,982 crore in the July-September quarter of this fiscal (2013-14). The bank has reported almost 30 per cent growth in profit for close to 40 quarters. Net interest margin dipped 10 basis points to 4.3 per cent due to RBI’s tight liquidity measures taken in July.
New Chairman of NABARD :
Smt Snehlata Shrivastava, Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Service, Ministry of Finance, Government of India has taken over the additional charge of the post of Chairman, NABARD, from 1 October 2013. She is a 1982- batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre. (Page12/BS17OCT)

Ministers Defend PM in Coal allocation case:
Three Union Ministers today came out in defence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the coal allocation case, saying he needs no certificate of honesty and that the allotments were made on recommendations of state governments.
"The entire nation knows about the commitment and honesty of the Prime Minister. He does not need any certificate from any quarter to prove his honesty," Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters.

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