The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday in-principle granted licences to 10 applicants to set up small finances banks, that are all mainly microfinance and small finance companies companies.
The selected applicants are: Au Financiers (Jaipur), Capital Local Area Bank (Jalandhar), Disha Microfin (Ahmedabad), Equitas Holdings (Chennai), ESAF Microfinance and Investments (Chennai), Janalakshmi Financial Services (Bengaluru), RGVN (Northeast) Microfinance (Guwahati), Suryoday Micro Finance (Navi Mumbai), Ujjivan Financial Services (Bengaluru) and Utkarsh Micro Finance (Varanasi).
The 10 banks were chosen from the 72 applications received by the RBI. Dewan Housing, former Union Bank CMD Cherian Varghese, IIFL Holdings, Lulu Finance, SKS Microfinance and UAE Exchange were among some of the big names which didn’t get the licence.
What are small banks
The small finance bank will primarily undertake basic banking activities of acceptance of deposits and lending to unserved and underserved sections including small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities.
What they can do
– Take small deposits and disburse loans
– Distribute mutual funds, insurance products and other simple third-party financial products
– Lend 75% of their total adjusted net bank credit to priority sector
– Maximum loan size would be 10% of capital funds to single borrower, 15% to a group
– Minimum 50% of loans should be up to 25 lakhs
What they cannot do
– Lend to big corporates and groups
– Cannot open branches with prior RBI approval for first five years
– Other financial activities of the promoter must not mingle with the bank
– It cannot set up subsidiaries to undertake non-banking financial services activities
– Cannot be a business correspondent of any bank
The guidelines they need to follow
– Promoter must contribute minimum 40% equity capital and should be brought down to 30% in 10 years.
– Minimum paid-up capital would be Rs 100 cr
– Capital adequacy ratio should be 15% of risk weighted assets, Tier-I should be 7.5%
– Foreign shareholding capped at 74% of paid capital, FPIs cannot hold more than 24%
– Priority sector lending requirement of 75% of total adjusted net bank credit
– 50% of loans must be up to Rs 25 lakh