New banks: RBI zeroes in on 5 for screening panel

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 3 2013, 13:51pm hrs
Reserve Bank of India is understood to have zeroed in on five names for setting up a high-level panel of experts from the banking and financial sector to screen applications of the 26 aspirants for new banking licences.

The final decisions on the names of the members of high level advisory committee (HLAC) would be taken by new governor Raghuram G Rajan, who would assume charge on September 5.

Sources said the names are that of market regulator Sebi chairman UK Sinha, insurance regulator Irda chairman TS Vijayan, pension regulator PFRDA chairman Yogesh Agarwal, financial services secretary Rajiv Takru and financial sector expert YH Malegam, sources said.

Takru and Malegam are also board members of RBI. Malegam, an independent director on many boards, is also an external member of Technical Advisory Committee of RBI on monetary policy.

In the 2001 round of guidelines for the new licences, the then-HLAC members were CG Somiah, former government auditor CAG, IG Patel, former RBI governor and Dipankar Basu, former head of State Bank of India.

RBI, sources said, is currently screening the prima facie eligibility of the applicants including fit and proper criteria and other relevant parameters.

After the screening of the applications by RBI, names will be referred to the high-level panel for scrutiny. It will have its own procedures for screening the applications.

The committee will have the right to call for more information, have discussions with any of the applicants and may seek further clarifications. The committee will submit recommendations to RBI for consideration. However, the decision to issue an in-principle approval for setting up of a bank will be taken by RBI.