RBI to set up panel for bank licences by Oct

Written by Aparna Iyer | Mumbai | Updated: Aug 15 2013, 10:14am hrs
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to set up a high-level advisory committee by October to examine new bank licence applications, said a central bank official.

Most likely by October, we should be able to have the committee. We are trying our best, a senior official told FE.

Eminent members from the banking and financial sector are likely to be part of the committee.

Reports suggest that officials from other regulatory bodies like Sebi and Irda, and the government may also be invited to be part of the committee.

At a banking conference on Tuesday, RBI executive director B Mahapatra told reporters that the central bank is currently screening the appxlications.

The applications are being initially screened based on technical aspects before the regulator and the committee consider the efficacy of business plans submitted by the applicants and, most importantly, judge whether they meet the central banks fit & proper criteria.

Our internal screening, we have just started the process. We are seeing whether the applications are complete and all documents are in place, Mahapatra said.

The RBI had released the final guidelines for new bank licences in May following which 26 companies filed application.

Corporate players like Tata Sons, Aditya Birla Nuvo, Reliance Capital and Larsen & Toubro are among the applicants. A number of standalone NBFCs and microfinance companies are also seeking a banking licence.

Asked whether the central bank would ask the companies to reapply should they find applications incomplete or lacking in relevant documents, Mahapatra said the RBI may not do so.

For flimsy reasons, we may not ask (for reapplication). We would just ask them to furnish the documents, he said.