Friday, April 6, 2012
11:10 PM Blogger
A majority of Indians prefer to use the internet for banking and other financial services than shopping online, shows a new survey.
Almost 57 per cent of Indian respondents using the internet prefer to bank online and use other financial services due to hassle- free easy access and time saving feature of online banking, according to the survey conducted by research firm Ipsos.
Checking information on products and services online comes a close second at 53 per cent while 50 per cent shop for products online. Around 42 per cent of respondents in India surfed online to look for jobs in the last three months, the survey said.
"Online banking has made things much easier for the people and it saves a lot of time. It has eliminated the hassle of the traditional way of banking where one had to stand in the queue and fill up several forms," Ipsos India Head (Marketing Communication) Biswarup Banerjee said.
Most of the banks in India have introduced customer- friendly online banking facility with advanced security features to protect customers against cybercrime.
"The easy registration process for net banking has improved customers' access to several banking products, increased customer loyalty, facilitated money transfer to any banks across India and has helped banks to attract new customers," he added.
The Indian results closely track the global trends as well. Conducted among 19,216 people from 24 countries, the survey showed banking and keeping track of finances, shopping and searching for jobs are the main tasks of internet users around the globe.
Overall, 60 per cent of people surveyed used the web to check their bank account and other financial assets in the past 90 days, making it the most popular use of the internet, Ipsos said.
Globally, shopping was not too far behind at 48 per cent, the survey showed, and 41 per cent went online in search of a job.
In terms of country preferences, almost 90 per cent of respondents in Sweden use e-banking.
Online banking has also caught on in a big way in nations like France, Canada, Australia, Poland, South Africa and Belgium, the survey showed.
The Germans and British come on top for using online shopping with 74 per cent of respondents in both countries having bought something online in the past three months. They are followed by 68 per cent of respondents in Sweden, 65 per cent in US and 62 per cent in South Korea.
Source: Financial Express
11:06 PM Blogger
After three holidays this week, all public sector and many private banks would function full day tomorrow.
Banks usually are open for public dealings between 10 am and 1 pm on Saturdays. However, the Finance Ministry has asked all the public sector banks to function full day this Saturday, official sources said.
Country's largest bank SBI has said that all its branches will remain open till 5 pm Saturday.
"In order to facilitate transactions for our customers, it has been decided to keep all branches of our bank open for public transactions up to 5 pm on April 7, 2012," State Bank of India (SBI) said in a notice.
Many private sector lenders, including HDFC Bank and Karur Vysya Bank, have also decided to work full day this Saturday.
"On account of consecutive holidays on April 5 and 6, all branches of Karur Vysya Bank will remain open for public transactions like any other working full day on April 7 for the convenience of our customers," the bank said in a notice.
Banks were closed for public dealing on Monday. They again remained closed on April 5 & 6 on account of Mahavir Jayanti and Good Friday, respectively.
Source: Financial Express
11:02 PM Blogger
Corporation Bank has marginally cut housing loan interest rates with effect from April 1.
A bank release said here that the interest rate on loans up to Rs 25 lakh for a period up to five years will be 10.75 per cent. This was 10.8 per cent earlier.
Interest rates for other tenures such as five years and up to 10 years; above 10 years and up to 15 years; and above 15 years and up to 25 years remain unchanged at 10.8 per cent, 10.9 per cent, and 11 per cent, respectively.
11:00 PM Blogger
The Ernakulam circle of Punjab National Bank has crossed Rs 100-crore mark in net profit during last fiscal.
The net profit as on March 31 stood at Rs 107 crore, Mr K.V. Rajesh, deputy general manager and circle head of the region, said. The total business of the region is nearing Rs 5,000 crore.
The Ernakulam circle of Punjab National Bank consists of its branches in eight districts from Trivandrum to Trichur. The bank recently launched exclusive salary accounts for defence/police personnel, nurses of private hospitals and State government employees. This has been getting very encouraging response, Mr Rajesh said.
The bank has also helped different sections of needy people under CSR. During the period, cash deposit machines were installed in a number of branches of the circle.
Soon the bank will open branches with ATM at Aroor (Alleppey), Maradu, Piravom (Ernakulam), Karunagappally (Kollam), Erattupetta, Kothanalloor, Vaikom (Kottayam), Attingal, Varkala, Vizhinjam (Thiruvananthapuram) and Wadakkanchery in Trichur district, Mr Rajesh said.
10:59 PM Blogger
Every March, the priest at Cordel Church near Mangalore used to give Anil Fernandes a tin box. The aim was to collect money meant for sharing with the poor over the next 12 months.
“I developed an interest in saving money and, apart from putting it in the tin box, I used to save money separately too, ” recollects Fernandes.
His daughter Ruth, 11, has now taken to the habit. Three years ago, she began putting coins in a box. Now, she also has a bank account.
In this era of instant gratification, the concept of children saving money is rapidly disappearing, teachers say.
For decades, buying a piggybank made out of clay was a common practice among rural areas, especially during Sankranthi . Today, these are rarely seen. Shopkeepers say they sell 3-4 plastic piggybanks a week, at Rs 8-10; perhaps as a container for people to put their spare change into.
That's what Mr Arun, 37, from Bantwal taluk in Dakshina Kannada does even today. He started saving coins as a child when he used to sell vegetables grown in his backyard, getting a commission from his mother.
During the summer holidays, he recalls, he earned as much as Rs 2,000. “I used to save this in my coin box,” he says. Once in a while, he would put the money in a post office account, spending it mostly on books and clothes.
Today, he has inculcated habit in his nephew, Ajay, 11, and niece, Anita, 9, by giving them one rupee for each arecanut they collect on the farm. Ajay also earns Rs 2 a day for carrying milk to the dairy, 1 km away. This is how Arun hopes to make agriculture interesting to the children.
Satyavathi, a mother of two children, says that her 11-year-old son Shobith buys stationery for his school projects from the money saved up in his piggybank.
Other kids have grander plans: Ruth says she wants to build a house near a river, with a tailoring unit. Sahana Gowri (8) is saving money to buy a TV or a washing machine when she grows up . Sampreet (5) and Aditya (9) are fascinated by cars. Sampreet wants a remote-controlled toy; Aditya is holding out for a real Lamborghini.
Rakesh Bhat (14), who started saving money as a five-year-old, had enough money to surprise his father, Rajesh, with a wallet and a T-shirt, costing Rs 1,000 on his birthday.
C.K. Manjunatha, a school principal, blames parents for the lack of savings habit among children. “When the children demand some toy or money, you are giving more than what they ask.”
Manjunatha says that in most of the urban areas, where both husband and wife work, the savings habit among children has been ignored. Weekend spending is more important than saving, he says.
Anil's wife, Rohini, agrees. She says parents often have to give in to the adamant kids, who are bombarded by a high dose of advertisements on television channels.
Mr K. Ravindranath, a retired manager of Vijaya Bank, says he successfully got many students in a rural school to open bank accounts.
He says the Government could appoint an agent in schools. Since most bankers do not find time each day to and collect money from schools, he says, the agent could coordinate with the students and banks on a daily basis.
“Speak the language of children to make them aware of the needs for saving money,” he adds.
10:57 PM Blogger
The Reserve Bank of India wants banks to do senior citizens and physically/visually challenged customers a good turn.
The banking regulator wants banks to see if these category of customers can be allowed unlimited number of ATM transactions at any bank ATM. It also wants the annual ATM card fee waived for these customers.
Since senior citizens and physically challenged persons will use ATMs only for genuine purposes, banks could allow them to use any bank ATM for any number of times, said Mr S. Govindan, General Manager, Union Bank of India.
Currently, banks allow their customers to use other bank ATMs without any charge five times a month. “Once the limit on the number of transactions at other bank ATMs is removed, then a senior citizen or a physically challenged person can go the ATM nearest to him any number of times without fear of a fee,” explained Mr Govindan. With senior citizens travelling across the country either to be with their children, or visit relatives, or on pilgrimage, the liberty to use any bank ATM without a cap on the number of transactions would prove beneficial.
ATM card fee
Banks will be willing to waive the annual ATM card fee to encourage senior citizens and handicapped persons to move to alternative banking channel (ATM), said a banker. Some banks charge Rs 100-500 as annual ATM card fee.
The RBI also wants banks to explore the possibility of providing doorstep banking service to the physically challenged.
Mr Govindan said providing this service could be a challenge. However, down the line this could be done once banks have sufficient number of Business Correspondents.
Last year, the RBI-appointed Damodaran Committee on Customer Service had recommended that banks could disburse pension to sick and disabled pensioners at their doorstep by utilising the services of Business Correspondents.
Pensioners' Associations across the country had represented to the Committee that for pensioners above the age of 80 and those who are sick/disabled in rural and semi-urban areas, there should be some arrangements to disburse the pension at the doorstep through vans or through Business Correspondents.
The Committee felt that such special treatment is required for this class of pensioners.
10:51 PM Blogger
Vijaya Bank plans to recruit about 1,200 clerical and officer staff every year, the bank's Executive Director, Ms Shubhalakshmi Panse, said.
She said, “We are planning to open around 100 branches every year. Besides, 800 to 900 staff will retire each year. That is a big number for a bank of our size.” This is in line with the trend seen in many other banks. With the average age of employees hovering at around 50, fresh recruitments have seen a surge in recent times.
Given that the existing training infrastructure is not geared to take in such huge numbers, banks are beginning to outsource training. Bank of Baroda, for example, has aligned with the Manipal group. Vijaya Bank too is in the process of entering into a tie-up with an institution for training, said Ms Panse. She said, “We need people who are familiar with these systems and those start work on it from day one. These institutions train fresh recruits in basic banking rules and procedures and teach them to use the core banking software. They also teach them soft skills.”
Asked about attrition, Ms Panse said, “All banks face this challenge. When we advertise for clerical or officer vacancies, everybody applies. But by the time someone gets selected for clerical post, he gets an officer role is some other bank. Again as an officer, if I get my preferred place of posting in another bank, I leave the current one. These are generally the reasons for attrition.”
Challenges of lateral hiring
Lateral hiring may be the “in-thing” for banks these days, but it brings its own set of challenges according to Ms Panse. She explained, “When we joined the bank, we had to wait for seven years to become eligible for the next promotion. By the time I came to the executive cadre to become a chief manager, I would have waited twenty years. Today, banks go for lateral recruitment in areas such as treasury, forex or IT where special skills are required. So if you are in Scale I and have completed 2 years in one bank, you can apply for a Scale II post in another. This means that some of these people have 20-25 years of service left when they reach the executive cadre. HR Management is hence going to be the biggest challenge for banks in the next five years. Whichever bank invests heavily today into training and HR management, will reap the benefits.”
10:49 PM Blogger
Corporation Bank has registered a 16 per cent growth in business during 2011-12.
Speaking at the 40th year celebrations of Corporation Bank Officers’ Organisation on Wednesday, Mr Ajai Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, said that the target was to reach around 25 per cent growth in business. However, the bank could achieve a growth of 15-16 per cent.
“I will not call it as a very good performance. But it is not a bad performance also. It is a pretty good performance after looking at the macroeconomic conditions in the country,” he said.
Stating that the growth was put into fast track in the last six months of 2011-12, he said the sanctioning of vehicle loan, housing loan and agriculture loan got doubled during the period. Priority sector disbursements also increased considerably.
“This shows the growth of the bank. We have to build upon that,” he said.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
9:37 AM Blogger
The season of downgrades for banks just got extended. Rating agency ICRA on Wednesday cut the rating for Kolkata-based UCO Bank’s lower Tier-II bonds from “AA+” to “AA” due to deterioration in asset quality and weak solvency profile.
ICRA had already lowered the rating for Oriental Bank of Commerce’s bonds for increase in non-performing assets. Global rating agency Moody’s has also downgraded the rating for some instruments of Union Bank of India and Bank of India.
ICRA revised the ratings for UCO Bank’s Upper Tier-II Bonds and Innovative Perpetual Debt Instrument from “AA” to “AA-”. The long- term ratings carry stable outlook.
The Kolkata-based public sector lender reported rise in gross non-performing assets (NPAs) to 3.49 per cent in December 2011 from 2.57 per cent a year ago. The increase in NPAs is visible in segments, such as large corporate, retail and agriculture, and adoption of system-based NPA recognition.
UCO Bank has high level of standard restructured advances (around six per cent as on December 2011). Its exposure to vulnerable sectors such as weak state electricity boards/distribution companies and aviation sector remains high, said ICRA.
The revised ratings factor in government’s 68 per cent stake, adequate profitability, comfortable capitalisation (Tier-1 of 7.79 per cent) and comfortable liquidity.
Some portion of vulnerable exposures has been restructured or is being restructured with a moratorium of two to three years in most of the cases. This will ease pressure on gross NPAs over the short to medium term. But vulnerability of those exposures continues to remain moderately high because of underlying weak financials of these entities and sectors.
The net interest margins (NIMs) of UCO Bank declined from 2.9 per cent for nine months ended December 2010 to 2.3 per cent in nine months ended December 2011.
ICRA does not expect significant decline in UCO Bank’s NIMs given management thrust on reducing the bulk deposits, to improve the CASA proportion and also pressure on NIMs to reduce from the recent reduction in cash reserve ratio.
Source: Business Standard
9:34 AM Blogger
HSBC Private Equity and ePlanet Capital are planning to sell their stake in Chennai-based medical diagnostics firm Trivitron Healthcare.
"Since their investment cycle has matured, both PE firms are exploring a partial exit from the company," GSK Velu, MD, Trivitron told ET. Trivitron Healthcare has appointed Kotak Investment Bank to scout for a buyer.
Both PE firms had invested close to $11 million in Trivitron Healthcare in 2007, picking up minority stake in the company. Trivitron Healthcare is one of India's largest medical technology company, involved in designing and manufacturing of medical devices.
It posted gross revenue of 500 crore in FY12. The company is looking to raise close to $100 million for investing in its medical technology park in Chennai. It is also planning small size acquisition in this space.
"The emergence of private healthcare centres and investment by the government in primary healthcare are going to be the key growth drivers for medical device companies," said Sujay Shetty, partner healthcare, PWC.
The industry, which is relatively small now, has been growing at 12-15 % every year, and will continue to do in a country like India, where healthcare is getting modernised.
But despite the huge market, the interest among private equity players is still subdued in this space, said Abhishek Sharma, from investment banking firm Mape Advisory.
"Most of the PE firms prefer investing in companies that are on the service side of the business," Sharma says. He said medical device manufacturing space is dominated by big giants such as Johnson & Johnson, GE and Siemens and hence there is very little scope for smaller players to expand.
9:31 AM Blogger
Customers of State Bank of India would need to keep a minimum balance in their savings accounts, at least for now.
This became clear after the bank directed branches to ‘keep in abeyance' the waiver of service charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance.
In February, an e-circular had announced the waiver as a ‘major step forward towards customer retention and acquisition.'
This is now sought to be reversed and kept in abeyance according to another circular dated April 4.
“It has been decided to keep in abeyance the instructions contained in our e-circular dated February 22.” The latest circular went on to add: “The effective date of removal of charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance in SB accounts of customers will be advised in due course.”
The bank had earlier said that the waiver would be a ‘strong selling point for our savings bank product.'
An accountholder could be induced to make use of other products, besides cross selling of those of subsidiaries.
Branches needed to ensure that while opening a savings bank account, a minimum of Rs 100 had to be deposited. In the case of no-frills account, the minimum deposit would be Rs 50.
Branches were also instructed to open new accounts by highlighting the benefits of non-maintenance of minimum balance.
Sources in the bank said that the bank had witnessed a flurry of new account openings across the country after the waiver was announced.
A situation had been reached when the numbers grew beyond the ‘comfort level' of the bank, and hence the latest move.
It is now a switch-back to the earlier regime when the quarterly minimum balance was fixed at Rs 225 a quarter, the sources added.
9:28 AM Blogger
Federal Bank has hiked the rate of interest on both-resident as well as NRE term deposits for a period of 1 year to 10 per cent effective from April 3, a statement issued here said.
The rates of interest for resident deposits of other maturity periods has been fixed at for 7 days to 45 days - 5.00 per cent, 46 days to 180 days - 7.00 per cent, 181 days to 199 days - 8.50 per cent, 200 days - 9.50 per cent, 201 days to less than 1 year - 8.50 per cent, above 1 year to less than 3 years - 9.50 per cent and 3 years and above - 9.25 per cent.
The rate of interest for NRE term deposits for a period of 1 year to less than 3 years is 9.50 per cent and for a period of 3 years and above is 9.25 per cent.
Senior citizens are eligible for additional interest of 0.50 per cent on resident term deposits.
Source: Financial Express
9:25 AM Blogger
The Reserve Bank of India has asked the promoters of Kotak Mahindra Bank to cut their stake in the bank to 10 per cent from 45 per cent by 2016.
This regulatory directive is in keeping with the guidelines for entry of new private sector banks. The guidelines require promoters to gradually bring down their stake to 10 per cent.
Promoter holding in Kotak Mahindra Bank was at 45.40 per cent as on December-end 2011 against 63 per cent in 2003, when it became a bank.
Promoters of private sector banks such as Kotak Mahindra bank, YES Bank and Development Credit Bank have been getting regulatory exemptions every year to hold higher stakes.
A Kotak Bank spokesperson said: “We would like to confirm that the long-term objective of the bank is to broad base the shareholding in a non-disruptive manner, keeping in mind the interests of all stakeholders…..The bank continues to be committed to following the statutory directions of the RBI.”
The Kotak Mahindra Bank stock closed lower at Rs 550.40 a share on the BSE, against the previous close of Rs 557.
9:20 AM Blogger
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is looking to engage 20,000-25,000 new agents this year.
Currently, its agency network is about 1.25 lakh strong, said Mr Tarun Chugh, Chief Distribution Officer.
After the IRDA upgraded the training model for agents, the company is investing more in its training programme. It currently has 700 trainers.
“The training programme for insurance agents has now become more meaningful and the quality of output is significantly enhanced. The new curriculum ensures that agents become more of financial advisors. They are now better equipped to understand customer needs and present relevant life insurance solutions,'' Mr Chugh said.
The agency channel currently accounts for 43 per cent of the company's sales, against almost 39 per cent from the bancassurance channel.
The company is also looking to increase the sale of online products, which is currently 1-1.5 per cent of total sales.
“The online channel holds a lot of potential for the life insurance industry. Currently, term plans account for bulk of the online sales as these are simple to understand products. Single premium plans too have gained a fair amount of traction. For the online channel to contribute substantially companies will have to simplify products. Today, we have successfully been able to offer most of our offline products to customers on the online platform,” Mr Chugh said.
The company is also equipping its agents with technology enabled tools to help them sell better. Special software and standardised videos about products loaded on tablets make it easier for customers to understand the products better and also prevent mis-selling.
9:17 AM Blogger
The Centre will infuse some more capital in State Bank of India during 2012-13, Mr D.K.Mittal, Financial Services Secretary, said here today.
This remark comes close on the heels of the Government pumping in nearly Rs 7,900 crore in SBI through a preferential allotment route last month.
Mr Mittal said that the Government would ensure a Tier-I capital of 11 per cent for SBI in the next two years. Currently, SBI's Tier-I capital is around 9 per cent. The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, had in the Budget set aside about Rs 15,888 crore for recapitalisation of banks during the current fiscal.
He also said that key finance sector Bills including the one on PFRDA, IRDA will soon go to the Cabinet. They will be introduced in the second leg of the Budget session beginning April 24.
9:14 AM Blogger
Central Bank of India will be closing those accounts which have zero balance.
“The account holders are aware that stipulated minimum balance has to be maintained in their accounts. It is noticed that in certain accounts, there are no financial transactions during the last 12 months,’’ the bank said in a notification.
As there was also zero balance in these accounts, it was evident that the account holders do not want to maintain their accounts with the bank for financial transactions. As such, the bank has decided to close all such accounts, it added.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
3:29 PM Blogger
The state-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has pumped in Rs 2,137 crore in four public sector banks through the preference share route.
Life insurance monolith LIC, according to separate filings in BSE, has pumped in Rs 1,037 crore in Bank of India (BOI), Rs 650 crore in Union Bank of India (UBI), Rs 302 crore in Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) and Rs 148 crore in the United Bank of India.
All these banks have issued preferential shares to the LIC.
The infusion of capital is expected to help the PSU lenders to enhancing their lending activity and meet the capital adequacy norms.
The Indian Overseas Bank, according to a BSE filing, has also approved capital infusion of Rs 1,440 crore by the government.
The capital infusion in IOB is part of the drive of the government to recapitalise the public sector banks.
Source: Business Standard
3:07 PM Blogger
South Indian Bank has opened its 700th branch in Thiruvananthapuram.
The bank, which has achieved total business of Rs 63,000 crore, also announced the launch of special deposit schemes to mark the occasion.
The schemes, SIB 700 and SIB 700 Plus, are for amounts ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 crore, Dr Joseph said.
The products that come with a free insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh and attractive interest offers will be available for a limited period effective from April 1, Dr Joseph said.
The bank brought together 10 septuagenarian men and women with lead credentials in art, letter, and culture to mark the opening of the branch.
They included writer and lyricist Kavalam Narayana Panicker; actor Madhu; poet and social activist Sugathakumari; historian Dr K. N. Panicker; singer K. P. Udayabhanu; sculpturist Kanayi Kunjuraman; human rights activist D. Sreedevi; lyricist Bichu Thirumala; retired civil servant Dr Babu Paul; and litterateur Dr George Onakkoor.
3:05 PM Blogger
Syndicate Bank opened 108 branches across the country on Saturday.
Speaking at the inauguration event, Mr M.G. Sanghvi, Chairman and Managing Director, Syndicate Bank, said that the bank plans to open 200 branches during the 2012-13 fiscal. Currently, the bank has a network of over 2,700 branches.
With a capital adequacy ratio of 12 per cent and net NPA below 1 per cent, the bank is geared up to grow qualitatively, he said. “We are on the verge of crossing Rs 3-lakh-crore business, and we are confident of achieving this in the first quarter of 2012-13,” said Mr Sanghvi.
The bank has achieved the government’s priority sector lending and direct agriculture advances targets. He pointed out that this was a growing market for the banking industry in the future.
The 108 branches inaugurated include three all-women branches — Bangalore, Karwar and Mumbai, 14 ultra-small branches and three micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) branches. The bank also rebranded its HSR Layout branch in Bangalore as a ‘SyndYuva’ or next-generation branch.
He also said that Syndicate Bank has covered 1,500 villages allotted to the bank under the financial inclusion programme.
3:02 PM Blogger
UCO Bank today opened its 100th branch in Tamil Nadu circle, which includes Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Port Blair.
Mr S. Chandrasekharan, Executive Director, inaugurated the branch at Kodungaiyur in North Chennai.
Starting with a deposit base of Rs 47 crore, this branch now holds the record for having the highest amount on the inauguration day. “I want to see that this amount touches Rs 100 crore by June-end,’’ he said inaugurating the branch. The earlier record was held by the recently inaugurated Mogaippair branch in west Chennai, which started with Rs 33.80 crore.
The Kolkata-based bank will shortly open its zonal office at Coimbatore.
Mr Chandrasekharan also flagged off an EMU train plying between Chennai Beach Station and Tambaram. The train is branded with UCO Bank advertisement displaying its various loan and deposit products.
2:58 PM Blogger
Canara Bank has reduced home loan interest rates with effect from April 2. The rate of reduction is for all borrowers across repayment tenors and quantum slabs, said a press release from the bank. With the revision, the rate of interest now range between 10.75 per cent and 11.25 per cent.
For loans between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 75 lakh, the interest rate reduction ranges between 25 basis points to 75 basis points depending on the repayment tenor. For loans above Rs.75 lakhs, the interest rate reduction ranges between 25 Basis points to 175 Basis points depending on the repayment tenor.
The bank has also waived additional interest of 25 basis points for acquiring second residential unit. The release also said that the bank has enabled a Web-based application in its Web site, through which both existing and prospective customers can submit online loan applications for housing loans.
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