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Friday, March 15, 2013

Corporation Bank shareholders approve preferential share allotment

The extraordinary general meeting of shareholders of Corporation Bank has approved the preferential allotment of shares to the Government of India.

The bank informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that the meeting on Friday approved the issue of 47,85,137 equity shares of the bank of face value Rs 10 each at a premium of Rs 416.32 per equity share to the Government of India. With this, the issue price of the share stood at Rs 426.32.

The preferential allotment of shares to the Government will help bank raise Rs 203.99 crore.

The bank informed the exchange that the resolution of preferential allotment of shares was passed unanimously.

On Friday, the bank scrip closed at Rs 398.45, down 0.25 per cent, against the previous close of Rs 399.45.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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IRDA forms panel to review insurance broker norms

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is set to overhaul the insurance brokerage soon.

It has constituted a committee headed by Suresh Mathur, Senior Joint Director, IRDA, to review the entire insurance brokers’ regulations, 2002.

“`Since a decade is passed after the notification of regulations, it is felt to review the existing practice,’’ T.S. Vijayan, Chairman, IRDA, said in an order.

There is also a need to evolve a standardised process to assess the gravity of violation (of norms) and imposition of appropriate penalties while processing the renewal of insurance broker licences, he added.

As of today, there are 345 insurance brokers who were issued licence by the regulator. The licence is valid for three years from the date of issue.

The committee would submit its report on or before April 30, 2013.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

ICICI, HDFC Bank, Axis probing money laundering accusations

India's top private sector lenders ICICI Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd said they were investigating allegations of widespread money laundering practices at their branches.

The shares of the banks fell briefly on Thursday after the independent investigative journalist, Aniruddha Bahal, made the accusations in a news conference televised by a local TV station in the morning.

Bahal, founder and editor-in-chief of Indian news and opinion website, said he had collected hundreds of hours of video recordings from "dozens and dozens" of bank branches across the country. He did not say when the recordings were compiled.

An article on the website posted on Thursday said an associate editor, using an alias and pretending to work for a fictitious politician who wanted to launder money, sought advice from bank officials on how to do it.

The article said branches across all the three banks suggested laundering methods that were "imaginative in their range and brazen in their approach."

In one case, Bahal said, a video excerpt on his website showed an HDFC Bank official explaining to an undercover reporter for different methods to launder money.

It said offered to hand over the videos to law enforcement officials or regulators. The article did not say if the recordings were eventually passed on to the authorities.

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India had no comment on the matter, according to a spokesman.


ICICI Bank told Reuters that it was "deeply concerned" about the accusations.

In a statement, it said: "ICICI Group conducts its business with the highest level of compliance to legal and regulatory requirements. All employees of the Group are trained and required to adhere strictly to the Group Code of Conduct... We have demonstrated our commitment to this by following a zero tolerance policy towards any violation."

"We have constituted a high level inquiry committee to investigate into the matter and submit its findings in two weeks."

HDFC Bank was investigating the matter on "top priority."

"Any deviation is viewed very seriously and stringent action is taken both at an organizational and employee level," the bank said in a statement.

Axis Bank also said it would investigate.

"Axis Bank has systems and processes that are robust and fully compliant with extant regulations. We will examine whatever information that is brought to our notice and investigate thoroughly," the bank said in a statement.

Axis Bank shares rose 1.1 percent as of 0728 GMT after earlier dropping as much as 3.5 percent.

ICICI Bank shares gained 2.3 percent after earlier falling over 2 percent, while HDFC Bank was up 1.7 percent, also recovering from earlier declines.

The shares recovered after government data showed core inflation rose less than anticipated, reinforcing expectations that the central bank will deliver an interest rate cut next week to boost the economy.

Source: Economictimes
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Nabard sanctions Rs 30.61 cr for godowns in Haryana

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned a loan of Rs 30.61 crore to the Haryana State Warehousing Corporation for construction of nine foodgrain godowns with a storage capacity of 97,796 tonnes.

These facilities will be set up in Jind, Hisar, Kaithal, Palwal, Karnal and Panipat under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)-XVIII 2012-13, said K. Sayeed Ali, Chief General Manager, Nabard (Haryana).

“The construction of these godowns will benefit farmers of 24 villages attached to nine mandis of these districts, storing food grains harvested by the farmers in a scientific and hygienic manner,” he said.

The construction of new godowns would reduce post-harvest loss of grains to an extent of about 6 per cent. The implementation of the project by HSWC would also generate about 6.12 lakh man-days of non-recurring employment and around 51 man-days of recurring employment, he said.

With this, Nabard has sanctioned RIDF loans of Rs 348 crore till date during 2012-13.

The total RIDF assistance sanctioned to the State Government and HSWC under RIDF, since inception of the RIDF in 1995-96, has now reached to Rs 3,857 crore and an amount of Rs 2,507 crore has been disbursed.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Canara Bank plans 10 all-women branches

Canara Bank with a focus on women clientele is planning to open 10 all-women employee branches across the country.

According to R.K. Dubey, chairman and managing director of the bank, processing charges for home and vehicle loans for women will be waived from March 1, 2013, to May 31, 2015.

The bank has also begun new initiatives such as waiver of promoter’s contribution and providing 100 per cent finance for micro and small projects up to Rs 1 lakh for empowerment of women.

“We also plan to waive processing charges and upfront fee for loan up to Rs 5 lakh under micro and small projects. Also we have reduced the interest on loans to women up to Rs 5 lakh to base rate of interest i.e. 10.25 per cent at present,” said Dubey.

In order to encourage entrepreneurship and reward successful women entrepreneurs, Dubey said the bank is launching ‘annual award scheme’ for successful women entrepreneurs financed by the bank with three cash awards of Rs 25,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh.

A.K. Gupta, executive director of the bank, exchanged documents with Dilip Chenoy, the managing director and CEO of NSDC, in New Delhi to mark the formal launch of the project.

The bank has partnered with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for skill development and recruitment of graduate unemployed youth of Jammu & Kashmir State under ‘Udaan’ – a special industry initiative of Ministry of Home Affairs for Jammu & Kashmir.

As a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, Canara Bank is also planning to take up a project for construction of toilets in 130 schools for girls, five each in all 26 lead districts of the State, with a financial outlay of Rs 1 crore.

The bank as a CSR activity donated Rs 5 lakh to SGS Hospital, Mysore, for its expansion programme. Dubey handed over the cheque to Shri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji.

Recently, Dubey called on Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and discussed with him various developmental issues connected to the State and assured him cooperation from Canara Bank. The Chief Minister also promised all support to the bank.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Y-Cash, KVB launch prepaid mobile wallet in Coimbatore

YPaycash, an innovative mobile wallet, was launched in the city today by Y-Cash Software Solutions and Karur Vysya Bank.

YPaycash, a prepaid mobile wallet, supported various kinds of payments including payments at retail shops, mobile/DTH recharge and fund transfer, Ravi Jagannathan, Vice-Chairman, Y-Cash Software Solution, told reporters here.

The company’s target was to enroll small and mid-sized merchants who typically did not use credit/debit car payment system, he said.

Already launched in Chennai some three months ago, the platform had received tremendous response and over 4,000 retail merchants had already signed up, M Sathish Kumar, vice-president, Business and Operations, Mobile payment, said.

This has twin benefits of lower cost and ease of use and the partnership with Karur Vysya Bank has strengthened the company’s reach to the market, which helped position YPaycash as the non-cash instrument of choice for retailers in Tamil Nadu, he said.

The platform would be launched across the cities and town in Tamil Nadu soon and across the country in another three years, Jagannathan said.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Vijaya Bank gesture to women

Vijaya Bank has announced that it will start three all women branches in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore.

Also for women entrepreneurs, the bank is offering 25 basis point interest concessions in the MSME advance and additionally, 25 per cent of CGTMSE fees in respect of women entrepreneurs will be borne by the bank.

H.S. Upendra Kamath, Chairman & Managing Director, Vijaya Bank said the bank is adopting one girl child for financially supporting her education till graduation in all the semi-urban and rural branched to be opened by the bank in FY 2013-14.

Additionally, an all ‘All Women Urban Micro Finance branch’ will be opened in Bangalore and ‘All Women Micro Finance branches’ at Mandya, Dharwad and Haveri.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Allahabad Bank cuts home loan rates for NRIs

Allahabad Bank has reduced interest rates on housing loans for non-resident Indian and person of Indian origin (NRI/PIO) under its festival bonanza offer. The reduction in rates would be applicable on loans in the range of Rs 30-75 lakh, said a bank statement. The interest rate on such loans would be 10.25 per cent and will remain effective till March 31, 2013. The bank had, in September 2012, launched festival schemes for home loans under — AllBank Aashiana Housing Loan scheme. Under the scheme, the bank had offered concessions in interest rate and processing fee.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Union Bank to get Rs 1,154-cr capital infusion

The Union Government will infuse Rs 1,154-crore capital in Union Bank of India before this month-end.

“We have asked for Rs 900 crore and the Government has approved infusion of Rs 1,154 crore,’’ K. Subrahmanyam, Executive Director, Union Bank of India, told newspersons here on Thursday.

The EGM of the bank would meet on March 16 to approve the infusion. “We should be able to complete the process within a week after the EGM,’’ he said.

As on December 31, 2012, Union Bank had a capital adequacy ratio of 10.78 per cent.

On the ensuing policy review by RBI next week, Subramanyam said a 25 basis points cut in key rates was expected.

On the fourth quarter performance of the bank, he said 16-18 per cent credit growth was expected for the full year.

“The net interest margin could be around 3 per cent compared with 2.95 per cent in the third quarter,’’ he said.

Earlier, he inaugurated the 226th ‘UnionExperience’ branch at Somajiguda here to provide speedy basic services to customers at flexible hours.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Government identifies GMs for executive directors post at PSU banks

Government has identified over 20 bankers for the post of executive director at public sector to fill the vacancies due in next fiscal year 2013-14. Officials from the financial sector said that names of the candidates are being referred to the central vigilance commission for clearance.

It may be recalled that in mid February appointment's committee had interviewed general managers from public sector banks for the executive director post. Among them, the highest number of candidates were selected from Dena Bank - four GMs- followed by Bank of Baroda and Bank of India - 3 each. Trishna Guha was the only woman candidate selected from Allahabad Bank.

Selected candidates include R Koteeswaran, Arun Shrivastava and Animesh Chauhan from Bank of Baroda. The three candidates from Bank of India include B B Joshi P S Rawat and Gauri Shankar.

Government has not officially declared the names of selected GMs, but some names are doing rounds in the banking circle. These names could not be independently verified with the finance ministry.

Among others T Sreekanthan is selected from Canara Bank and T K Srivastava from Union Bank of India. Bankers say that 35 candidates were interviewed by a panel chaired by Rajiv Takru, secretary, financial services.

This apart, Atul Agarwal and Upagupta Mohapatra from Central Bank of India, R Athmaram, and B S Rama Rao from Andhra Bank. Incidently, none of the GM from Punjab National Bank had appeared for the interview. K K Sansai and R K Takkar, from Oreintal Bank of Commerce too were selected.

The four candidates from Dena Bank include R K Gupta, M K Jain, S N Patel and J K Singh.

Source: Economictimes
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RBI likely to reduce rate by 25 bps on Mar 19, says HSBC

Foreign brokerage HSBC today said the Reserve Bank will cut the policy rate by 0.25 per cent on Tuesday as the central bank is likely to boost growth amid some comfort on the inflation outlook front.

The central bank may further reduce repo rate by 25 bps on Tuesday and make another equal cut in the second quarter of 2013, taking the policy rate to 7.25 per cent from the current 7.75 per cent, HSBC said in a report today.

"While growth is stabilising, the RBI is likely to see it as too low for comfort. At the same time it is getting slightly more comfortable with inflation outlook. Coupling this with the government's delivery of a relatively credible budget targeting further consolidation, this is likely to encourage RBI to cut policy rates by 25 bps again next week.

Another is likely to follow in Q2, but that may be the end of the easing cycle," the report said.

However, positive IIP numbers and a disappointing retail inflation numbers at 10.9 per cent yesterday tempered hopes of a rate cut in the broader markets -- equities and bonds.

A Nomura report has said the brokerage expects the Reserve Bank to deliver next repo rate cut on May 3, not March 19.

According to HSBC, the central bank is likely to justify the rate cut with the easing in core inflation and the expectation that inflation will decline further during 2013.

It also said the apex bank is also likely to partly base its decision on the government's efforts to deliver fiscal consolidation as exemplified by the progress in FY'13 and presented in the Budget for FY'14.

The report said that RBI, however, is likely to communicate that further rate cuts were conditional on easing of inflation pressure along with initiatives for structural policy reforms and fiscal consolidation.

"This communication is important to help anchor inflation expectations, keep the government on its toes, and help safeguard the RBI's credibility," it said.

Credit Suisse Director Robert Prior-Wandesforde yesterday had said he expected the monetary authority to slash the repo or short-term lending rate on Tuesday.

Barclays India had also said a 25 bps cut in the repo rate was in the offing. "We expect 25 bps repo rate cut next week, as the seemingly better IIP print does not weaken the case for a March easing by the RBI," Barclays India Director and Chief Economist Siddhartha Sanyal said in a note.

Source: Economictimes
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RBI asks urban Co-operative Banks to implement CBS by Dec 31

The Reserve Bank today asked Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) to implement core banking solutions (CBS) in all their branches by December 31, 2013.

"...very few UCBs have adopted CBS. Hence all UCBs are advised to implement CBS, in all their branches before December 31, 2013," RBI said in a notification.

It further said the failure to implement CBS within the time frame could result in denial of various facilities like expansion of branches or area of operation to UCBs.

The usage of Information Technology (IT) is critical for the survival and growth of banking institutions as IT usage not only helps banks to reduce their cost of operations, but also enables them to offer products and services at competitive rates to their customers, RBI said.

Also, IT is not just an enabler but a differentiator for banks in a competitive environment.

Further, for effective regulatory and supervisory compliance the banks need to use IT in their operations.

CBS helps to integrate range of services that can be offered by all the bank's branches from centralised data centers.

"The Government of India has also observed that UCBs without CBS do not integrate well with the banking system and hence there is the need to quickly adopt this model. CBS is a necessity in today's banking scenario," it added further.

UCBs are, therefore, advised in their own interest, as also in the interest of their customers, to adopt CBS as soon as possible, it said.

Source: Economictimes
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WBIDFC alleges Rs 120-cr fraud against UCO Bank manager

State Government-owned West Bengal Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation Ltd (WBIDFC) has alleged Rs 120 crore fraud against a branch manager of UCO Bank.

Avirup Sarkar, Chairman of WBIDFC, told Business Line that a named FIR was lodged against the bank manager, who allegedly reported to the corporation that a large part of the Rs 120 three-year fixed deposits were missing from the account.

“We suspect a serious foul play on the part of the bank’s branch officials. WBIDFC has filed the FIR with police headquarters here this evening,” Sarkar said.

WBIDFC Chairman said that the corporation had transferred Rs 59 crore from Bank of India on August 30 last year and deposited it to Circus Avenue branch of UCO Bank. “On January 10 this year we further transferred Rs 61 crore from Indian Bank to the UCO Bank’s branch. The corporation obtained two separate fixed deposit certificates from the bank, signed by the branch manager,” Sarkar added.

“Today, the UCO Bank’s branch manager claimed that some Rs 83 crore was missing from the account and also suggested that the fixed deposit certificates bearing the signatures were not genuine,” WBIDFC official said.

WBIDFC, primarily an infrastructure financing of the State, has been raising funds from the market for on-lending to the State Government for development of various infrastructure activities of the State.

WBIDFC now also lends to State-owned public sector undertakings, joint sector companies, private sector outfits that have taken up infrastructure projects in West Bengal. The corporation has also launched a residential housing project at Rajarhat, New Town, on the north-eastern outskirts of Kolkata.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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BoB preferential allotment

The Allotment Committee of Bank of Baroda has issued and allotted 1,01,32,920 equity shares of Rs 10 each at a issue price of Rs 838.85 aggregating to around Rs 850 crore to Government of India on preferential basis, according to SEBI guidelines. The public sector bank informed the BSE about the allotment on Tuesday.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Central Bank of India ties with ADAG firm for credit card

Public sector lender Central Bank of India said it has partnered with ADAG firm Reliance Big Cinemas to launch its co-branded credit card.

The card that has been designed especially for movie-goers, can also be used for shopping, dining, fuelling, booking railway tickets, payment of hospital bills and also on e-commerce platforms.

Source: Economictimes
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BoB preferential allotment

The Allotment Committee of Bank of Baroda has issued and allotted 1,01,32,920 equity shares of Rs 10 each at a issue price of Rs 838.85 aggregating to around Rs 850 crore to Government of India on preferential basis, according to SEBI guidelines. The public sector bank informed the BSE about the allotment on Tuesday.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Muthoot unveils new engraved gold coin

Muthoot Precious Metals Corporation (MPMC), a division of Muthoot Group, has launched a new engraved gold coin — the Mecca Medina with holy number 786 imprint.

M.G. George Muthoot, Chairman, The Muthoot Group, said that the engraved gold coin exemplifies the holy city and the auspicious number in the Islamic religion.

Besides having a sentimental and religious value, he said it is an ideal gift for marriages, an addition to the family heirloom and a collector’s item.

The 24 carat gold coin with 999 purity comes in 2 gm, 4 gm and 8 gm denomination in a temper proof blister packing. Currently, MPMC has over 14 engraved gold coins.

The gold coins are competitively priced according to the rates prevailing on the international bullion market on a day-to-day basis.

There is no premium on these gold coins. .

Source: thehindubusinessline
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United Bank to raise Rs 300 cr thru rights issue early next fiscal

Kolkata-based United Bank of India plans to come out with a rights issue to raise Rs 300 crore, early next fiscal.

According to Sanjay Arya, Executive Director, the bank has already received nod from its board of directors for the rights issue.

“ We will soon approach the government and Reserve Bank of India seeking their approval,” Arya told Business Line.

The rights issue could happen by the first half of 2013-14, he said.

Meanwhile, the bank, on Tuesday, received its shareholders’ approval to raise Rs 100-crore worth Tier-I capital by way of preferential allotment to the Union Government by end of this month.

The bank plans to issue 1.37 crore equity shares at a price of Rs 72.95 a share on preferential basis.

“We expect this capital to be pumped in by the end of this month. This will boost our capital adequacy ratio and help fund our growth needs,” he said. The capital adequacy ratio of the bank stood at 11.88 per cent as on December 31. This is likely to go over 12 per cent by March 31, supported by the capital infusion and accruing of profits earned during the fiscal, he pointed out.

United Bank aims to achieve 22 per cent growth in credit in 2013-14. The bank’s credit growth is likely to be 14-15 per cent by the end of this fiscal.

“The economy is showing signs of revival and things are looking better so we expect credit growth to pick up. This capital raising plan will help us achieve our targeted growth in advances,” he said.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Union Bank opens 2nd overseas branch in Dubai

Public sector lender Union Bank of India opened its second overseas branch at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Union Bank set up its first overseas branch in Hong Kong in 2008 and five representative offices in Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney and London thereafter.

The Bank plans to further expand overseas with branches in Antwerp (Belgium) and Sydney (Australia) and a subsidiary in London (UK) on the anvil, the bank said in a statement.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Monday, March 11, 2013

17 lakh in race for 1,500 officer posts in SBI

If proof were needed that bank jobs are in demand, here’s one: 17 lakh hopefuls for 1,500 probationary officer openings in State Bank of India.

According to SBI sources, this is the highest number of applications the bank has received in recent times.

Despite being “the best” bank employer, in terms of perks and growth opportunities, SBI went beyond the ritual notification to advertising extensively.

SBI is offering for the post a maximum salary of up to Rs 69,000 a month in Mumbai, while it would be around Rs 50,000 in other places.

Exam date

The written examination is set for April 28. As on December 2012, SBI had 212,446 employees, including 81,515 officers.

Public sector banks are expected to recruit more than 60,000 officers and clerks over the next one year to replace retiring staff and support branch expansion.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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SKS Micro inducts Ranjana Kumar on board

SKS Microfinance Ltd has informed BSE that Ranjana Kumar has been appointed as an independent director on the company's board with effect from March 8.

Ranjana Kumar served as the Chairperson of Indian Bank and Nabard. She also held the constitutional post of Vigilance Commissioner in Central Vigilance Commission.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

First all-woman post office opened

The government today opened the country’s first all-women post office here and announced plans to open more such branches completely operated by women employees.

“In coming days, I believe there will be more all-women post offices across country for convenience of women,” Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal said.

While inaugurating first ‘All Women Post office’ in the country on the eve of International Women’s Day, he said the new post office branch will be completely operated by women employees and provide all facilities that are available at any other post offices.

“This is first office in the country where all employees will be women. The government is looking into problem faced by woman and this is just a symbolic step,” Sibal said.

In the Union Budget government announced to set up an all-women bank by October-end.

P Gopinath, Secretary, Department of Posts, said the department has plans to have one such post office in every metro city and subsequently include all the large towns particularly where there are lot of working women.

“There is different comfort level when women interact among themselves. Keeping all this in mind we will open post offices in places where there are large number of women. We have identified Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Bangalore to start with,” she said.

Gopinath added that the department will open more women post offices in old Delhi area within fortnight.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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New admin building of Syndicate Bank inaugurated in Kolkata

Ravi Chatterjee, Executive Director of Syndicate Bank, recently inaugurated the bank’s new administrative building at Anandpur on Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

The bank’s administrative building was previously functioning from Shakespeare Sarani, said a press statement issued by the bank.

Later during the day, Chatterjee addressed the city branch heads and reviewed the region’s performance in the backdrop of achieving bank’s set target of 3.5 lakh crore business by March 31, 2013.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Issue intl debit/credit cards only on demand: RBI

At present, almost all banks issue cards that have international acceptability so much so that if one goes abroad and wants to withdraw, say, US dollars, one can do so.

To minimise misuse of such cards, the Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to withdraw this automatic facility and replace it by on-demand facility by June 30, 2013.

In other words, from July 1, 2013, cards issued in India will not function abroad unless it has been activated specifically for international withdrawals and payments to parties abroad at the specific request of the accountholder.

The RBI has also asked banks to convert all cards used outside India at least once to EMV chip based if they are magnetic stripe based.

These and other precautions have been mandated by June 30, 2013, in the interest of protecting accountholders, especially from the evil designs of those sitting abroad who by the very nature of their operations and distance defy tracing otherwise.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Central Bank rolls out scheme for women

Central Bank of India has opened a women entrepreneur cell in Mumbai. The bank has also launched a new scheme — Cent Kalyani — to encourage women to start their own manufacturing/service enterprises, M. V. Tanksale, CMD, said here on Friday. Loans of up to Rs 1 crore will be given and there is no need for collateral security or third-party guarantee.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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