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Banking News 12/04/14

Relief on cards for home loan borrowers:

The RBI has suggested that banks must effect any change in floating rate loans only at the agreed-upon reset date. This is aimed at ushering in transparent and appropriate pricing of credit, according to an RBI working group. The group has suggested that floating rate loan agreements can have interest rates reset monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, etc. What this means is that any change in the base rate (the minimum rate below which banks cannot lend) need not result in an immediate change in the floating interest rate on existing loans.

Citibank says no to subsidiary model:

Citibank will not take the subsidiary route to operate in India, according to top officials of the bank. The central bank had even promised near-national treatment — in terms of opening of branches, among other things — to foreign banks that converted into subsidiaries of their parent banks.

Poor customer service at ATMs flayed:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in a survey of ATMs, has found several deficiencies in services. These relate to messages showing insufficient cash and non-availability of contact details for lodging complaints at the ATM centres. Another area of service deficiency related to ATM identification numbers not being displayed at the centres, causing inconvenience to customers, according to the survey, the contents of which were described to this paper by a senior official at a public sector bank. Many a time, customers do not know what to do when money from the account is debited, but the cash is not dispensed from ATMs.

Banks get stick for lapses in realty deals at foreign branches:

The Reserve Bank of India has urged banks to stick to policies approved by their respective Boards while investing in real estate or carrying out transactions related to realty at overseas branches. The directive has come after the central bank learnt of lapses by Indian banks in the purchase/sale of real estate as well as in acquiring/letting out property on lease/rental basis at some overseas locations. The central bank has said that the policy should require that any agreement for acquiring/letting out premises on rental/lease basis must incorporate a suitable exit clause.

Bandhan Financial starts training its staff for role change:

With the banking licence in its kitty, microfinance institution Bandhan Financial Services is gearing up to groom its 13,000-odd employees to become bankers. The non-banking micro-lending firm plans to train around 1,500 employees every month under the guidance of 30 trainers at its 8 centres, said Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, Chairman and Managing Director.

Ratnakar Bank infuses Rs. 328 crore as fresh funding:

Private sector lender Ratnakar Bank (RBL Bank) has infused about Rs. 328 crore capital into the bank by selling shares to a group of four global investors. These new funds will assist the Kolhapur-based bank in expanding its branch network in semi-urban and rural areas as well as in providing a suite of financial products and services to the unbanked sections of society.

Ratan Tata member of China- backed Boao Forum:

Ratan Tata was on Thursday inducted as a member of the Board of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), a rare distinction for an Indian in the Chinese government backed influential body. The 15- member board of BFA included former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, former Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong and former prime minister of France Jean- Pierre Raffarin, beside former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. BFA was formed in 2001 on the lines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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