Current Affairs November 2017 - Finance


1 - Approval of framework for consolidation of Public Sector Banks

Public Sector Banks

An Alternative Mechanism for consolidation of the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) has been constituted under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister Arun Jaitley.

The composition of the Alternative Mechanism will be as under:

  • Chairperson: Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs.

  • Member: Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Coal.

  • Member: Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Defence.

The proposals received from banks for in-principle approval to formulate schemes of amalgamation will be placed before the Alternative Mechanism. A Report on the proposals cleared by Alternative Mechanism will be sent to the Cabinet every three months.

2 - Maximum age of joining NPS increased to 65 years under NPS - Private Sector


The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has increased the maximum age of joining under NPS-Private Sector (i.e. All Citizen and Corporate Model) from the existing 60 years to 65 years of age. They can continue up to the age of 70 years in NPS.

The subscriber joining NPS beyond the age of 60 years will have the same choice of the Pension Fund as well as the investment choice as is available under the NPS for subscribers joining NPS before the age of 60 years.

3 - SBI gives Rs. 2,317 crore loan for rooftop solar


State Bank of India (SBI) has extended Rs. 2,317 crore of financing for the rooftop solar power projects in collaboration with World Bank. Sanction letters have been handed out to JSW Energy, Hinduja Renewable Energy, Aure Energy, Adani Group and Hero Solar Energy.

Under this arrangement, SBI will take a line of credit of $625 million from World Bank. Around 43 projects will be financed which will add 695 megawatt (mw) of solar rooftop capacity to the grid.

4 - AU Small Bank and SIDBI Launch Rs. 200 crore Fund for MSMEs

AU Small Bank and SIDBI

AU Small Finance Bank tied up with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and launched a Rs. 200 crore fund for providing loans to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The program will fund term-loans in the range of Rs. 25 lakh to Rs. 2 crores ticket size. The loans will be offered at a rate of 10% to MSMEs. AU Bank will play the anchor in this program as all the processes including disbursement, monitoring and recovery will be handled by them.

5 - IPPB Bank to become operational in 650 districts by April 2018


India Post Payments Bank will become operational in all 650 districts of the country by April 2018.

They will facilitate financial inclusion. These banks will be linked to 1.55 lakh rural post offices and carry out banking services. Each branch will be networked with about 1200 to 1500 post offices in a district.

Two such banks are already operational in Ranchi and Raipur. The focus of the payment bank will be on doorstep banking, direct benefit transfer and financial inclusion.

6 - ICICI Bank launched Voice-Based International Remittance Service


ICICI Bank launched of India’s first voice based international remittance service to enable non-resident Indians (NRIs) to remit money to any bank in India. With this new unique feature in the ICICI Bank’s Money2India app, an NRI customer can instantly initiate a remittance to his/her existing payees in India with just a simple voice command to Apple’s virtual voice assistant, Siri, on his/her Apple iPhone / iPad.

It became first bank in the country to leverage on Apple’s virtual voice assistant to enable cross-border remittance.

7 - Paytm launched BHIM UPI to ease remittance

Paytm launched BHIM UPI

Digital wallet platform PayTm introduced Paytm BHIM UPI facility in its app to ease remittance. Paytm merchants can link their multiple existing bank accounts with Paytm BHIM UPI ID, provided by Paytm Payments Bank. Paytm BHIM UPI does not require IFSC Code or beneficiary name. A user has to link all its accounts and send money from its UPI address to beneficiary’s UPI address.

As per directions of National Payments Corporation of India, users can send up to Rs. 1 lakh a day using BHIM UPI with no restriction on limit of receiving it.

8 - HDFC Bank launched SmartUp Zone in Kochi


HDFC Bank announced the launch of SmartUp Zones in its branches across India. A SmartUp Zone is an exclusive area inside the branch dedicated to start-ups. In the first phase, SmartUp Zones will be launched in over 65 branches in 30 cities across India. SmartUp is tailored to meet all the requirements of a start-up, offering banking and payment solutions, along with advisory and forex services.

The enhanced offering includes specially trained staff, showcase products to over 40 million customers, access to HDFC Bank’s SmartBuy platform etc.

9 - PayPal launched its domestic payments in India


Paypal launched its domestic operations for Indian consumers. Indian consumers can now remit money with PayPal and with some of India’s merchants including BookMyShow, Makemytrip, PVR and Yatra.

These merchants can now undergo both local and global payments for PayPal’s 218 customer accounts around the world through a single payment mode. PayPal offered a compelling set of services designed to help consumers shop online with confidence. PayPal is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money remittances and acts as a digital wallet.

10 - RBI revealed new outsourcing norms for NBFCs


Reserve bank of India released directions on managing risks and code of conduct in outsourcing of financial services by NBFCs. RBI advised NBFCs to conduct a self assessment of their existing outsourcing arrangements and bring these in line with the previously mentioned directions within two months from the date of issuing guidelines.

Self-assessment includes due diligence to assess the capability of the service provider, reviewing outsourcing agreement, management structure to monitor its outsourcing activities, etc. Outsourcing activities include applications processing (loan origination, credit card), document processing, marketing and research, supervision of loans etc.

11 - PNB MetLife inked pact with Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait

PNB MetLife

In an initiative to cross-sell products to customers of Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait, PNB MetLife life Insurer Company entered into a corporate agency agreement with Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait B.S.C (BBK). PNB MetLife will be benefitted from Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait, mainly from cities Mumbai, Hyderabad, Aluva and New Delhi, where Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait has its wide presence.

PNB MetLife Insurance is a life insurance company, based in Mumbai. It has always entered into similar Bancassurance with other banks also.

12 - Mumbai to host ‘Asian Bankers Association Summit’

Asian Bankers Association Summit

It has been for the first time that Mumbai city is selected to host ‘Asian Bankers Association Summit’. The two-day 34th annual conference of the Asian Bankers Association will be based on theme ‘Asia’s turn to transform’. Conference will be organized by State bank of India. Over 160 domestic as well as international bankers will witness the Summit.

Various issues will be discussed such as policies, banking reforms, training programs, impact of the ongoing global recession on the Asian economies; financial consequences of the Brexit on Asia, and implications of fintech on banks.

13 - Reliance General Insurance Company Limited entered into Bancassurance with YES Bank

YES Bank

Reliance General Insurance Company Limited signed a comprehensive Bancassurance - Corporate Agency agreement with YES BANK, with the objective to distribute multiple general insurance products to the customers of YES BANK, further augmenting its distribution network.

YES BANK with its extensive network of 1040 high-quality branches across all 29 states and seven union territories of India will enable Reliance General Insurance to reach a large base of Retail and MSME clients. Reliance General Insurance Company Limited provides a wide range of general insurance products like fire, motor, health, home, crop, travel etc.

14 - RBL Bank inaugurated ‘All Women branch’ in Chennai

RBL Bank

RBL bank established an all women branch in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to promote gender equality. Chennai all women branch will be managed by all eight women staff. Chennai all women branch will offer all varieties of products and services.

RBL Bank Limited is a scheduled commercial bank, established in 1943 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. RBL bank has presence of 387 ATMs and 246 branches across India. RBL bank has customer base of 3.54 million across 246 branches with total business of over Rs. 64,000 Crores.

15 - Andhra Bank launched scheme to push entrepreneurship

Andhra Bank

Andhra Bank has launched a new scheme, Pattabhi Sitaramayya - Self Business Group (PS-SBG), for self-help groups (SHGs) to encourage entrepreneurship.

As a part of the scheme, the bank will extend finance in the form of working capital and term loan to SHGs having five years of association with Andhra Bank and having successfully completed three credit rotations with good repayment record and an aptitude for entrepreneurship. The loan will be extended to the group or in individual capacity within the group to the extent of ?25 lakh without any collateral security.

16 - Paytm invests in lending startup firm CreditMate


Paytm has acquired a stake in CreditMate, a Mumbai-based start-up in the lending space, which is focused on enabling its dealer partners to seamlessly assess, approve, process and distribute two wheeler loans to customers with no formal credit history.

Paytm bought an undisclosed stake in Urja Money Pvt. Ltd and use Urja’s proprietary CreditMate technology to create a loan management system. Earlier this year, Paytm invested in data analytics start-up Mobiquest and health-tech start-up QorQL.

17 - SBI's revamped digital offering on one app ‘Yono’


The State Bank of India launched a comprehensive digital platform with a view to providing all its services as well as its subsidiaries with just one app. The proposed digital service platform 'You Only Need One', Yono will offer everything related to financial services and lifestyle products and services.

The entire financial services product from SBI and its subsidiaries-- SBI Life, SBI General, SBI Mutual Fund, SBI Caps and SBI Cards are integrated on one platform ‘Yono’, which allows a seamless Omni Channel Customer Experience.

18 - Reserve bank of India exempted ARCs from the limit of shareholding at 26%


On a review of the limit imposed on shareholding of the post-converted equity of the borrower company under reconstruction by Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs), Reserve Bank of India decided to exempt ARCs from the cap of 26%, subject to meeting the criteria prescribed by RBI.

The criteria mentioned by RBI were ARC’s net owned fund requirement of ? 100 crore, at least half of the board of directors be independent directors, ARC’s shall frame policy on debt to equity conversion and equity shares acquired under the scheme shall be periodically valued and marked to market.

19 - Axis Bank launched ‘Ripple-powered’ instant payment service

Axis Bank

Axis Bank launched instant international payment services using Ripple’s Enterprise Blockchain Technology Solution. Ripple makes international remittances faster and transparent for customers while ensuring security and improving efficiencies. The transactions reach their destination account in minutes, with certainty of settlement, and with end-to end visibility over the journey of the payment.

The bank has launched a service for its retail customers in India to receive payments from RakBank in UAE and for its corporate customers in India to receive payments from Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.

20 - Bank of Baroda launched digital Supply Chain Finance solution

Bank of Baroda

Bank of Baroda launched digital Supply Chain Finance solution to accelerate Working Capital opportunities for MSME & Large Corporate Clients. The Supply Chain Finance solution provides a range of Supply Chain Finance Products - covering pre and post shipment products - viz Dealer/Channel Finance, Vendor Finance and Payable Finance - and is highly flexible and scalable, with an Omni-channel user interface that supports rich analytics.

Product is embedded with latest state-of-art technology & features which is aimed to accelerate the business of customers.

21 - Arun Jaitley launched Paytm Payments Bank

Paytm Payments Bank

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched 'Paytm Payments Bank'. Currently, India has four Payments Bank including Paytm Payments Bank. The other three operational ones are Airtel Payments Bank, India Post Payments Bank and Fino Payments Bank.

Payment banks can accept deposits restricted to Rs. 1 lakh per customer. However, a payment bank cannot loan money to people, or issue credit cards. In addition, the payment banks are only allowed to invest the money customers deposit into government securities.