5 December 2022

Notifications & Circulars

Reserve Bank of India



RBI releases Guidelines for 'on tap' Licensing of Universal Banks in the Private Sector


The Reserve Bank of India released on its website, "Guidelines for 'on tap' Licensing of Universal Banks in the Private Sector". Key aspects of the Guidelines include: (i) resident individuals and professionals having 10 years of experience in banking and finance at a senior level are also eligible to promote universal banks; (ii) large industrial houses are excluded as eligible entities but are permitted to invest in the banks up to 10 per cent; (iii) Non-Operative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC) has been made non-mandatory in case of promoters being individuals or standalone promoting/converting entities who/which do not have other group entities; (iv) Not less than 51 per cent of the total paid-up equity capital of the NOFHC shall be owned by the promoter/promoter group, instead being wholly owned by the promoter group; and (v) Existing specialised activities have been permitted to be continued from a separate entity proposed to be held under the NOFHC subject to prior approval from the Reserve Bank and subject to it being ensured that similar activities are not conducted through the bank as well.

Recognising the need for having an explicit policy on banking structure in India in line with the recommendations of the Narasimham Committee, Raghuram G. Rajan Committee and other viewpoints, the Reserve Bank came out with a policy discussion paper on Banking Structure in India - The Way Forward on August 27, 2013. After a thorough examination of the pros and cons, the discussion paper made out a case for reviewing the current 'Stop and Go' licensing policy and for considering a 'continuous authorisation' policy on the grounds that such a policy would increase the level of competition and bring new ideas into the system. The feedback on the discussion paper broadly endorsed the proposal of continuous authorisation with adequate safeguards.

Tags : Universal Banks Licensing Guidelines

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