Millennium Post

RBI issues clarification on licences for new banks

The Reserve Bank of India on Monday said that in- principle approval for setting up of new banks will now be valid for 18 months, up from earlier proposed one year.

Issuing clarification to queries on new bank licences, the RBI said the companies which would be eligible to apply must have a public shareholding of at least 51 per cent.

'..companies forming part of the Promoter Group whereof companies in which the public hold not less than 51 per cent of the voting equity shares shall hold not less than 51 per cent of the total voting equity shares of the NOFHC (holding company)', it said.
Besides, the intending applicants would have to approach other regulators to bring in entities regulated by them under the bank holding company, the RBI said.

It further said that only non-financial services companies and non-operative financial holding companies in the promoter Group would be allowed to hold shares in the holding company.
Coming out with guidelines on new bank licences in February, the RBI had said corporates and public sector entities with sound credentials, Rs 500 crore capital and a minimum track record of 10 years would be allowed to enter the banking business. Those seeking to set up a bank would have to submit applications by 1 July, 2013. The RBI will display names of applicants on its Website. The RBI said it had said received 443 queries from 34 individuals/organisations.

The norms issued by the RBI after a gap of more than a decade is expected to see companies like Mahindra & Mahindra, Tatas, Anil Ambani Group and Religare queuing up for a bank licence.  The RBI said that most of the queries it received pertained to provisions on eligible promoters, 'fit and proper' criteria, foreign shareholding, on transition time to the new structure and corporate structure of the NOFHC among others.
It said the queries received from applicants brought out several complex issues pertaining to re-organisation of the existing corporate structure, restructuring of business and meeting the regulatory requirements.
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