The Reserve Bank of India has received 26 applications for new banking licences until Monday, the deadline for making a pitch, with a mix of big corporate houses led by the Tatas, the Aditya Birla group, the Rahul Bajaj group, Videocon, the Anil Ambani group and Larsen & Toubro in the race to set up a commercial bank.
Others in the fray include a government department, state-owned firms, a handful of non-banking financial companies and a couple of microfinance institutions. Among those who have decided to give it a miss are Reliance Industries (RIL) and the Mahindra and Mahindra group.
The applicants, a list released by the RBI said, include Tata Sons — the holding company of the $100 billion Tata group, Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, Bajaj Finserv of the Rahul Bajaj group, the Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Capital, L&T Finance, Indiabulls Housing, Shriram Finance and Value Industries of the Videocon group.
The list also includes entities owned by the government or government-owned institutions such as the Department of Posts, LIC Housing Finance, IFCI and Tourism Finance Corporation of India.
Leading finance and investment firms India Infoline, JM Financial, Magma Fincorp, Religare, Srei Infra, Suryamani Financing, UAE Exchange and Financial, Muthoot Finance and IDFC have also applied.
Microfinance companies such as Kolkata-based Bandhan Financial and Janalakshmi Financial run by Ramesh Ramanathan are also in the race. INMACS Management Services, a management consultancy firm, is also seeking a banking licence.
The RBI had already indicated that it may not be possible to issue licences to all applicants meeting the eligibility criteria. “There is no predetermined number. RBI will be very selective while considering the applications for new bank licences. It will look for very high quality applications,” the RBI had said in a statement in June.