1. Ms Lakshmi Swaminathan: Became first Indian President of Administrative Tribunal of the ADB(Asian Development Bank)
Ms. Lakshmi Swaminathan became the first Indian to become president of Administrative Tribunal of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for three years. Ms. Swaminathan is the seventh president of the Tribunal. At present, she is a member of the Panel of Arbitrators of several public sector undertakings and NSE.
2. Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) launched Institutional Trading Platform (ITP) on SME:
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) launched an Institutional Trading Platform (ITP) to helpSmall and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and start-up companies to list on the bourses without an Initial Public Offer (IPO). BSE Ltd set up the BSE SME Platform as per the rules and regulations laid down by SEBI.
3. RBI hiked trade related remittance limit from Rs.2 lakh to Rs.5 lakh per transaction:
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiked the trade related remittance limit from Rs.2 lakh to Rs.5 lakh per transaction with immediate effect and also increased the number of transaction handled by exchange houses. The hike in per transaction is on the review of the permitted transactions under the Rupee Drawing Arrangements (RDAs).These changes have been included in the Memorandum of Instructions for Opening and Maintenance of Rupee/ Foreign Currency Vostro Accounts of Non-resident Exchange Houses.
Note: Vostro account (also known as a loro account) is one in which the domestic bank acts as custodian or manages the account of a foreign counterpart.
4. Qatar based Doha Bank announced it’s First branch in Mumbai:
Doha Bank announced that it will be opening its first branch at Nariman Point in Mumbai in India. The branch in Mumbai will be opened as a full-fledged bank in May 2014.
Note: Doha Bank is the largest private commercial bank in the state of Qatar. It was incorporated in 1978 and commenced its domestic and international banking services in Doha, Qatar in 1979.
5. Bank of India (BoI) launched Instant Money Transfer (IMT) scheme:
The Bank of India (BoI) launched an Instant Money Transfer (IMT) scheme and became the first state-run lender to allow withdrawal of funds to individuals from its ATMs without an account in the bank. In other words, the IMT scheme allows customers to withdraw cash without using either debt card or credit card at BoI’s IMT-enabled ATMs.Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of India is V. R. Iyer.
6. Kotak Mahindra Bank links current accounts to Twitter:
The private lender bank, Kotak Mahindra launched a new current account product that will enable the account holders to undertake 21 services viz. cheque book requisitioning, checking last few transactions, etc, and using their Twitter accounts.
i. For the activity of listed service, the bank customers have to use the dedicated hashtags (#).
ii. The account christened ‘Jifi’, also involves a host of loyalty-based reward points accrued from merchant transactions carried out using the account, referrals made and ‘sharing and commenting’ of tweets/updates.
Note: The bank has integrated all their systems with their core bankingsoftware and can seamlessly throw up the required result into the account holder’s Twitter handle as a direct message.
7. RBI constituted Bimal Jalan panel scrutinized the applications for new bank licences:
Note: The in-principle approval by RBI is valid for ONLY 18 months.
During this 18 month-period IDFC and Bandhan Financial Services Ltd will have to meet all RBI rules and guidelines in order to secure a permanent licence to start banking activities.
8. RBI extends deadline on capital norms under Basel III:
RBI extended deadline for banks to implement Basel III capital norms up to March 31, 2019, instead of March 31, 2018. With the extension, the RBI has also revised deadline for for meeting Minimum Common Equity Tier 1 and Capital conservation buffer (CCB).
i. Basel III is a comprehensive set of reform measures, developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, to strengthen the regulation, supervision and risk management of the banking sector.
ii. In terms of Basel III capital regulations issued by the RBI, the Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) will be implemented from March-end 2016 (against March-end 2015 earlier). Consequently, the Regulations will be fully implemented as on March-end 2019 (against March-end 2018 earlier).
iii. Basel series of norms refer to a broad supervisory standards formulated by Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) to ensure that financial institutions have enough capital on account to meet obligations and absorb unexpected losses.
9. RBI grants ‘In-Principle’ banking licenses to IDFC and Bandhan:
RBI has granted “in-principle” banking licences to Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) and microfinance lender Bandhan Financial Services Ltd.
The declaration was made by RBI after nod from the Election Commission. These are the first licences to be awarded by RBI since 2003-04.
10. SBI launches 3 Digital banking facilities for its customers”:
i. Tab Banking for Saving A/C – Opening Savings a/c at Customer’s door step using tablet PC provided to the Bank’s Sales Staff (who visit the Customer’s home).
ii. TAB Banking for Home Loan – In-principle approval for the home loan at customer’s door step using tablet PC provided to the Bank’s Home Loan Sales Team which will capture on the tablet KYC details and details.
iii. e-KYC – Generates e-KYC (Know Your Customer) identity document. Fingerprints of the customer will be captured and sent to UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) for authentication of identity and address proof. On successful authentication from UIDAI, the e-KYC service will act in response to display demographic details like [Name, year/date of birth, Gender, Address, Phone, email (if available)] and photograph.
Note: These facilities will offer ease and time saving to the customer for opening accounts with SBI bank.
11. World Bank has projected an economic growth rate of 5.7% in 2014-15 for India:
World Bank projected an acceleration of growth (factor costs) in FY 2014 to 4.8%, further increase to 5.7% in FY 2015
12. Main Points of RBI monetary policy review:
As on 1 April 2014, RBI (Reserve Bank of India) in its first bimonthly monetary policy statement kept the key policy rate (repo) unchanged.
Current RBI Policy & Reserve Rates:
1. Repo Rate – 8% (Unchanged)
2. Reverse Repo– 7% (Unchanged)
3. CRR – 4% (Unchanged)
4. SLR – 23% (Unchanged)
5. MSF– 9% (Unchanged)
6. Bank Rate – 9% (Unchanged)
Note:i. Economic growth for 2014-15 expected at 5.5%.
ii. CAD expected to come down to 2% of GDP in 2014-15.
iii. Retail inflation expected to be under 6% in 2014.
iv. RBI asks banks not to charge penalty for failure to maintain minimum balance in inoperative account.
v. It was first bi-monthly monetary policy review, next one scheduled for June 3.
13. Panel headed by Anand SInha for benchmark floating interest rate:
RBI panel headed by RBI Deputy Governor Anand Sinha has recommended bringing a benchmark floating interest rate, especially for home loans. Panel also suggested Indian Banks Base Rate (IBBR).