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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Oriental Bank of Commerce to go slow on large advances, bulk deposits

With the banking industry grappling with corporate loans turning bad, the state-owned Oriental Bank of Commerce has decided to go slow on chasing aggressively bulk deposits and providing advances to corporates.

"We are not chasing bulk deposits as well as going for large corporate advances unless there is a very good asset for the time being," OBC Chairman and Managing Director S L Bansal said.

He said slippages during the first nine months of the current fiscal were Rs 2,800 crore, while the recovery was Rs 1,300 crore.

"Recovery continues to be a challenge. The large corporate accounts are stressed while small accounts are okay," he told reporters at a news conference here today.

Bansal said sectors like steel, road, and power were stressed. "Certain SMEs are also stressed as large corporates are not making timely payments to them," he said.

To carry on the banking activity, he said the bank was foscusing mainly on retail deposits and retail advances like home, education and others.

"Our aim is to maintain health of the bank," he said. Bansal said NPA reduction of the bank would take some time. Gross NPA of the bank stood at 3.87 per cent.

The bank has also decided to sell Rs 250 crore worth NPAs to ARCs (asset reconstruction corporations).

OBC had set a target business of Rs 3.5 lakh crore for the current fiscal. Presently, the business mix was Rs 3.20 lakh crore.

Source: Economic Times
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Punjab National Bank evinces interest in opening 2 branches in Pakistan: Meena

Government said state-owned bank Punjab National Bank ( PNB) has applied for opening branches in Pakistan and is awaiting approval from the competent authority.

"Punjab National Bank has applied for opening of two branches in Pakistan, one each in Lahore and Karachi, but these branches have not been approved by the competent authority," Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

No Indian bank has presence in Pakistan, he said. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had indicated to the Reserve Bank of India last month that Muslim Commercial Bank was also interested in opening a branch in India apart from two other Pakistani banks, Meena added.

RBI has advised SBP this month that banks from Pakistan may apply as per the extant policy for the presence of foreign banks in India.

In reply to another question, Meena said that under the aegis of the World Trade Organisation, India is committed to allow foreign banks to open 12 branches in a year.

"RBI may, however, go beyond the WTO commitments of 12 branch licences, if the foreign banks open offices in unbanked or under-banked areas," he said.

While considering application for opening of branches by foreign banks, RBI also considers the nature and scope of banking facilities provided by these banks to common persons particularly in under-banked areas; actual credit flow to the priority sector; pricing of products and so on, he said.

Replying to another question, Meena said RBI is examining the issues associated with the usage, holding and trading of virtual currencies, including bitcoins, under the extant legal and regulatory framework of the country, including foreign exchange and payment systems laws and regulations.

"The public at large has been informed that the creation, trading or usage of virtual currencies as a medium for payment are not authorised by any central bank or monetary authority," he said.

No regulatory approvals, registration or authorisations have been obtained by the entities concerned for carrying on such activities, he said, adding, as such, "they may pose several risks to their users".

Source: Economic Times
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Mahila Bank ties up with New India; launch 3 health schemes

Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB), the first all-women bank, today tied with New India Assurance to launch health insurance products for women account holders of the bank.

These policies, BMB Sakhee, BMB-Nirbhaya and BMB-Parivar Suraksha provide customised package of health insurance policies from New India assurance, its chairperson Usha Ananthasubramanian said here.

While Sakhee Policy aimed at rural women, offers covers up to Rs 50,000, the Nirbhaya schemes offers cover limit up to Rs 5 lakh.

At the same time, Parivar Suraksha offers family floater facilities, she said.

These products would be available on portals for the bank, to create more efficiencies and ease of use, she added.

The bank, a pioneering initiative to empower women, was launched in November last year with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore to function as a universal bank.

Coinciding with the 96th birthday of late Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the first of seven branches of the bank in the presence of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Mumbai on November 19, 2013.

The idea of an exclusive lender for women was mooted at the Jaipur Congress plenary 2012.

Source: Economic Times
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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bank of Baroda and Bank of India to organise “I Run for Fun”

IL&FS Financial Services (IFIN) has emerged as an Organisation with a Bouquet of initiative on the business front- that of a leader in the area of its operation.

From the IFIN think tank this time comes another initiative – I RUN for FUN. This marathon set in and around BKC involves two key banks as partners in the initiative namely  “Bank Of Baroda” and “Bank Of India”, with participation from employees of all the Corporate houses and Financial Institutions. IFIN has already received more than 2000 participants registered for this initiative.

The 5 Km Joy Run and the 10Km run will be flagged off by R C Bawa – MD & CEO of IL&FS Financial Services, V R Iyer - Chairperson & Managing Director, Bank of India and S. S. Mundra - CMD, Bank Of Baroda.

“We have taken the initiative for the run for all the financial institutions in BKC. The lead for this is taken by IL&FS, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India. The very purpose of this run is to bring IL&FS employees and employees from all the financial sectors in BKC, especially from Bank of Baroda and Bank of India together for better motivation, bonding and healthy competition,” said Mr Bawa.

He further added that this is also a good tool for good health of every human being. “Good health is equally important for all our employees. These are the employees who build the institution and who build the nation,” he said.

It is very encouraging that CEOs and senior management is taking initiative in organisations to bring awareness of keeping good health among the employees, he concluded.

Source: Indiainfoline
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SBI lowers retail deposit rates by up to 0.50%

State Bank of India, the country's largest lender, has cut deposit rates by up to 0.50 per cent starting February 18.

While deposit rates for maturities of three to five years have been lowered by 0.25 per cent, those for five years and above have been cut by 0.50 per cent, SBI said in a filing to the BSE today.

The bank currently offers an interest rate of 8.75 per cent for three to five year deposits and 8.5 per cent per annum for deposits exceeding five years.

For bulk deposits of Rs 1 crore and above with a maturity period of 61 days to less than a year, SBI lowered rates by 0.75 per cent to 7 per cent.

Earlier this week, United Bank of India (UBI) and Canara Bank had revised interest rates.

While UBI increased lending rates and cut interest on deposits, Canara Bank raised fixed deposit rates across maturities.

UBI increased the base rate, or minimum lending rate, to 10.50 per cent from 10.25 per cent, becoming the first PSU bank to do so after the Reserve Bank of India raised policy rates in January.

Besides, UBI reduced its deposit rate to 8.5 per cent from 8.75 per cent previously for tenures of one year and above.

Term deposits with Canara Bank with a maturity of 91 to 120 days would attract interest of 9.15 per cent from 8.5 per cent earlier. For periods ranging from 180 days to less than one year, the new rate would be 9.20 per cent from the existing 8.75 per cent.

In its Third Quarter Review of Monetary of Policy, the RBI raised the key repo rate to 8 per cent in a bid to curb inflation. The central bank's move is expected to translate into higher EMIs and push up borrowing costs for corporates.

Private lender Kotak Mahindra Bank increased deposit rates in four different baskets earlier this month.

Source: Economic Times
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