Millennium Post

It’s final! Realtors will get to form banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday released the final guidelines for issuing of new bank licences, paving the way for corporate houses from any business sector to apply for a banking licence. 1 July is the last date for submitting the applications and selected applicants will have a year to set up their bank.

Unlike the 2011 draft guidelines wherein the RBI had expressed reservations about allowing realty players and brokerages into the fray, there is no such explicit exclusion in the final guidelines. The final norms set a 49 per cent cap on foreign holding in the new banks. The paid-up equity capital should be Rs 500 crore and they will have to get listed within three years of operations.

Among the corporate entities reportedly keen to apply are L&T and Reliance Capital. According to reports, Religare Enterprises Ltd, Aditya Birla Financial Services and Mahindra Financial Services said they would apply for licences. The RBI, which allowed private banks in 1993, had issued the last setof licences in 2001 to two entities —  Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank.
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