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Friday, July 3, 2015

SBI launches ‘Project Tatkal’

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India today launched an initiative to provide doorstep services and expedite home loan application process.

The initiative known as ‘Project Tatkal’ will help get the loan within 10 days after receipt of application form and relevant supporting documents, the bank said in a release.

“It will bring down the average time taken for delivery of home loan to within 10 days from the date of receipt of completed home loan application form and relevant supporting documents from the customer,” the release said.

The implementation will be done at large centres with sizeable home loan business.

The bank has also recently introduced an online customer acquisition solution (OCAS) for instant e-approval of home loan applications.

It has over three million home loan customers with a portfolio of over Rs 16,60,000 crore.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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DBS India posts Rs. 275 cr loss; awaits subsidiary licence

Singapore-based foreign lender DBS Bank posted a net loss of Rs. 275 crore in FY15 in its Indian business due to high provisioning towards bad loans to clean up of balance sheets. Last year, it made a net profit of Rs. 2 crore.

DBS India is also awaiting RBI’s approval to get licence to open wholly-owned subsidiary in India. At present, the Singapore-based lender operates under the branch-based model. “Over the next couple of months, we will get more clarity (on RBI approval),” said Surojit Shome, CEO, DBS India.

Shome, who joined the bank in April this year, saw net net non performing assets (NPAs) ratio improve to 4.15 per cent as on March end FY15 from 10.19 per cent in FY14.

In FY15, net NPA in absolute terms was at Rs. 658 crore as against Rs. 1544 crore a year ago. “This was achieved due to selling of problem loans, provisioning and write-offs,” Shome said.

Provisioning during the year increased substantially to Rs. 926 crore, up 79 per cent from Rs. 516 crore a year ago.

Gross NPAs during the year also reduced to Rs. 1,284 crore from Rs. 2,116 crore in FY14.

Meanwhile, the bank will continue to execute our two-pronged strategy – one is to grow our business, apart from the corporate, our SME and consumer business and reasonable foray on the digital front. “The second is to continue to clean up our balance sheets and leave behind the stress built up in the last three-odd years,” Shome said.

Total advances grew by 4.5 per cent to Rs. 15,845 crore. The bank also reduced its investment book by roughly about Rs. 4,500 crore.

In FY15, the NIMs (net interest margins) went up to 2.1 per cent from 1.9 per cent.

Net interest income grew marginally to Rs. 804 crore as against Rs. 790 crore in FY14. While other income declined about 11 per cent to Rs. 227 crore in FY15 from Rs. 255 crore a year ago.

During the year, the foreign lender also infused capital of Rs. 1,625 crore of Tier-II capital with the total capital at Rs. 4,811 crore at the end of the fiscal year. This helped improvement in capital adequacy ratio at 17.01 per cent from 13.8 per cent a year ago.

Growth in FY16

The DBS India chief said a lot of the growth is coming from new client acquisition, SME and consumer business. It will be cautious on the infrastructure and construction sector, which showed no growth in FY15.

“Hopefully, the slow and gradual pick up in the economy will help both our topline and growth and some of our troubled loan book…As we look at growth, we also have plans to infuse, if required, mostly Tier-II capital as we await the licence,” Shome said

He added, “If we get the approval from RBI on opening subsidiaries, we have to meet the priority sector lending targets and open branches in the rural and semi-urban areas.”

In India, DBS operates with 12 branches at present with an employee base of 1000.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Thursday, July 2, 2015

HDFC Bank unveils banking application for Apple Watch

HDFC Bank, the country’s second largest private sector bank, unveiled its banking application for Apple Watch that allows its customers to view their account summaries, block cards and recharge their mobile phones and DTH connections.

The Apple Watch app will work when paired via Bluetooth with its mobile application on iPhone 5 and above versions. HDFC Bank said that it is developing a wearables application for the Android operating system by this year.

Customers will be allowed about 10 kinds of transactions including account information on savings, current, fixed deposits, demat accounts, mutual funds and credit cards, mobile and DTH recharge, request account statements and cheque books, locate the closest ATM and bank branch, view messages from the bank and discount offers and hotlist lost debit cards, said Nitin Chugh, Senior Executive Vice President and Head - Digital Banking, HDFC Bank.

The bank plans to allow payment of bills through active notifications, offers based on location and payment of pre-added bills soon.

Currently, HDFC Bank provides over 150 banking transactions through its net banking platform and about 80 transactions through mobile banking.

The private bank said that the Apple Watch application is merely a projection of the mobile banking app and works in conjunction with it. Customers will have to create a customised Watch banking PIN on the mobile app to access the account on the Apple Watch.

As a security feature, the user’s session logs out automatically after inactivity of about 5 minutes.

Rival ICICI Bank earlier in April announced its application for wearables. Called iWear, ICICI Bank’s wearables app is available for Android, Apple and Tizen devices.

The application is live on the Apple Store and can be downloaded by anyone who has an Apple Watch, which will be soon launched in India.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Govt working on package for PSU banks saddled with bad loans: Sinha

The Finance Ministry is working on a comprehensive package to help state-run banks, which are saddled with huge bad loans, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said on Wednesday.

Rising bad loans at Indian banks over the past three years amid an economic slowdown has prevented banks from lending more, despite three interest rate cuts by the central bank this year totalling three-quarters of a percentage point.

This has affected the Government's plan to spur a revival in credit to key sectors such as infrastructure.

“We are working and trying to understand exactly what the capital requirements are going to be in the next 2-3 years for (public sector) banks. And we are there to support them and provide them the capital that they need,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said at an event organised by IVCA here.

A high-level panel comprising Sinha and Financial Services Secretary Hasmukh Adhia are assessing the capital requirement. The last meeting of the panel will be held on July 3 in Bengaluru.

Last year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said to be in step with Basel-III norms, there is a requirement to infuse Rs. 2.40 lakh crore as equity in public sector banks by 2018.

For the current fiscal, the Government has allocated Rs. 7,940 crore in the Budget for capital infusion in state-owned banks.

However, the Finance Minister last month promised to provide more than the budgeted amount this fiscal.

“As far as public sector banks are concerned, we put in place a comprehensive package to really strengthen our banks. There are five aspects and dimensions we are trying to do,” Sinha said.

First and foremost, Sinha said, the Government is working on governance changes relating to role of MDs, the board and the like.

He said, “We have been working on strengthening management of banks by making the selection process transparent. We have also been working on improving the operating performance of these banks as well as in terms of technology and risk management.”

The Finance Ministry will soon wrap up the exercise.

The upcoming meeting in Bengaluru will take stock for banks such as Andhra Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Corporation Bank, Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank and Vijaya Bank.

The Ministry is already done with the assessment for other public sector banks.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Kotak Mahindra Bank cuts base rate by 10 bps to 9.75%

Following most big banks, private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank reduced its base rate by 10 basis points (bps) to 9.75% p.a from 9.85% earlier.

The revised rate will be effective from July 2, 2015.

Base rate is the minimum lending rate below which banks do not lend to borrowers. One basis point is 0.01 percentage point.

“All categories of loans (other than the exceptions permitted by RBI) will be priced with reference to the revised Base Rate,” the bank said in a statement.

Following the RBI cut in June, most banks including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank among others have also slashed their minimum lending rate.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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