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Friday, May 29, 2015

Now, apply for SBI loans online

Country's largest lender State Bank of India today launched an online customer acquisition solution through which one can apply for home, car, education and personal loans online.

SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya launched the application that will help customers gauge their eligibility and get a quote personalised to their requirement, the bank said in a statement.

"Customers will instantly get an e-approval on filling the online form. Thereafter, the bank officials will contact customers and complete all the loan formalities. Customers can also upload all necessary documents online. This will help in empowering the customer and also reduce the processing time of their loan," it said.

The bank plans to launch a similar application on the mobile platform, soon.

Source : Economic Times
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Bank of Maharashtra cuts base rate by 25 bps to 10 per cent

State-run Bank of Maharashtra today trimmed its base rate by 25 basis points to 10 per cent, effective Monday, following its larger peers, which will bring down the cost of home, car and retail loans.

The move comes ahead of the second bi-monthly monetary policy announcement on Tuesday, wherein the Reserve Bank is widely expected to slash policy rates following sharp drop in inflation and factory output numbers in recent months.

The Pune-based lender had cut its base rate or the minimum lending rate last December by 15 basis points to 10.25 per cent.

Commenting on the move, its executive director R K Gupta said, "It is hoped to boost housing, car and SME loans and other retails loans credit off-take in the current year."

Soon after the April 7 policy, wherein RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had blasted banks for not cutting rates despite the RBI doing so twice in the year, major banks led by SBI, ICICI, HDFC, among others had reduced their lending rates by 10-15 basis points.

In its first monetary policy review for 2015-16 on April 7, Rajan had kept the repo rate -- the rate at which it lends to the banks -- unchanged at 7.50 per cent.

However, outside its monetary policy review, RBI effected a cut in repo rate by an equal margin of 0.25 per cent each in January and March this year.

Source : Economic Times
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Cashless drive: RBI prefers e-payment for intra-city commute

RBI has issued draft guidelines on mobility cards that will allow you to travel without cash in metros, buses and taxis carrying prepaid cards with value up to Rs. 2,000.

In a bid to boost prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) for commuting, RBI has introduced a new category of prepaid payment instruments that will be issued by the mass transit operators (such as metro or road transport).

The PPI- MTS (mass transit systems) will necessarily contain the Automated Fare Collection application related to the transit service and can be used at other merchants whose activities are allied to or are carried on within the premises of the transit system only,” RBI said in the draft circular, which will be open to comments and feedback.

With a minimum validity of six months from the issue date, the PPI- MTS will be reloadable with a balance limit of Rs. 2,000. No cash-out or refund will be permitted from these PPI, the central bank said.

At present, for other PPIs the RBI has permitted to issue cards with balance of up to Rs. 1 lakh.

The issuer of the PPI may decide upon the desired level of KYC, if any, for such PPIs and will ensure on-boarding of merchants whose activities are allied to or are carried on within the premises of the transit system only.

In addition, funds transfer under Domestic Money Transfer (DMT) will also not be applicable to these PPIs. All other extant guidelines for escrow arrangement, customer grievance redressal mechanism, agent / merchant due diligence, reporting and MIS requirements, etc. would be applicable, the draft circular said.

RBI said it has been receiving requests from various segments, including providers of mass transit services, such as, metro train and road transport services, indicating the need for PPIs catering to the requirements of this segment to enhance commuter convenience.

“It was felt that a separate category of semi-closed PPI for mass transit systems which handle a large number of small value cash payments will facilitate the migration to electronic payments in line with the country’s vision of moving to a less-cash society,” RBI added.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Bank of India posts Rs 56-cr net loss

Bank of India has ended the last quarter reporting a net loss of Rs 56 crore due to weak asset quality and lower interest income.

The net profit stood at Rs 558 crore a year ago.

Net interest income (difference between interest earned and expended) declined 7 per cent to Rs 2,847 crore from Rs 3,047 crore.

On the other hand, non interest income grew 24 per cent to Rs 1,122 crore from Rs 914 crore.

Gross non-performing assets (NPA) increased to 5.39 per cent of total advances as on March end this year against 3.15 per cent as on March end last year.

Net NPAs also deteriorated to 3.36 per cent from 2.00 per cent.

For the full year as well, the net profit declined 37 per cent to Rs 1,709 crore from Rs 2,729 crore.

The BoI shares were trading down by 5.93 per cent at Rs 193 on the BSE.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Bank unions, IBA sign bipartite agreement

The Indian Banks’ Association signed the 10th bipartite agreement with five employee unions in Mumbai on Monday.

The signatories included eight representatives on behalf of 43 member banks and 56 workmen representatives on behalf of five bank unions - AIBEA, NCBE, BEFI, NOBW and INBEF.

With this, bankers will receive a 15 per cent hike in their salary slip component and would translate into an increase of Rs. 2,270 crore – the salary slip component of establishment expenses of public sector banks which are parties to this settlement for FY12.

The new salary of pay would be constructed, after the merging dearness allowance corresponding to 4440 points and with a loading of about two per cent. As per the agreement, bankers will have a holiday on every every second and fourth Saturday of the month and the other Saturdays would be full working days.

The bank unions had submitted a charter of demands to the IBA in October 2012 for revising the wages and service conditions of bankers requesting for negotiations. IBA had on its part raised issues related to improving the efficiency of bank operations.

All other issues of the management and workmen unions discussed during the process of negotiations would be settled to their mutual satisfaction. The parties had signed and exchanged minutes in this regard on February 23, 2015 in Mumbai.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Now, you can make ICICI Bank transactions using voice!

Your voice will now act as your password to do banking transactions.

ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, launched a voice recognition service which authenticates customers based on their speech patterns and allows them to execute banking transactions through the bank’s call centre.

“The-first-of-its kind service, it is available to over 33 million customers of its savings account and credit card. With the voice recognition technology in place, customers are no longer required to enter their card numbers, PIN and answer security questions to authenticate themselves. Their voice will now act as the password for banking transactions through the call centre,” ICICI Bank said in a statement.

This will benefit all savings bank and credit card customers.

Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank said, "We have noticed that the customers, especially those who use smart phones, find it difficult to enter the 16-digit card number and the 4-digit PIN with accuracy and at a reasonable speed. We wanted to offer them a secure and hands-free alternative to the traditional on-screen commands on smart phones. The voice recognition service has the potential to increase security and convenience."

Voice recognition technology

The voice recognition technology works on voice prints, which are unique to an individual. It comprises more than 100 characteristics, including voice modulation, speed, accent, and pronunciation, which are impossible to imitate, thereby enhancing security.

The bank stores the customer's unique voice print against his account and matches it whenever he calls from his registered mobile number, offering a seamless experience to the customer.

Among a slew of technology driven initiatives, ICICI Bank has also launched contactless debit and credit cards and ‘Pockets’, a mobile app that serves as its digital bank.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Bank wage accord: 15% rise in salary and allowances

Salaries and allowances of bank employees will increase by 15 per cent as Bank unions and industry body Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) have formally signed the agreement.

After years of long negotiations between the UFBU (United Forum of Bank Unions), an umbrella of nine unions and the IBA, the wage revision will be effective retrospectively from 1 November 2012 and will benefit about 10 lakh employees from public sector banks, old private banks and some foreign banks.

On February 23 this year, the parties had announced a deal under which employees would be given 15 per cent wage hike on pay-slip components, which will result in an additional salary burden of Rs. 4,725 crore per year to the banking system.

With the additional provisioning towards superannuation costs and other benefits (towards retired staff) the outgo comes to Rs. 8,370 crore.

Following the wage revisions, the scale of pay of officer-level employees has been revised from Rs14,500 – Rs. 52,000 to Rs. 23,700–Rs.85,000, including special allowance and dearness allowance.

The scale of pay of workmen -- non-subordinate staff has been revised from Rs. 7,200 – Rs. 19,300 to Rs. 11,765 – Rs. 31,540, while the scale of subordinate staff has been revised from Rs. 5,850 – Rs. 11,350 to Rs. 9,560 – Rs. 18,545, including allowances, IBA Chairman TM Bhasin said.

Saturday holidays

The wage settlement also includes a medical insurance scheme for the families of employees and additional holidays on the second and fourth Saturdays of a month. The first and third Saturdays will be regular full working days.

The cash and transfer transactions will take place as per banks’ operations by individual banks but RTGS, NEFT and other clearing functions will not be available on 2{+n}{+d} and 4{+t}{+h} Saturdays and other notified holidays.

The RBI has given an in-principle approval for the Saturday holidays and it is expected to start by July after the approval from the Government and the Law ministry.

Medical reimbursement

The medical insurance will cover 100 per cent reimbursement for self and dependent in the staff’s family as against earlier 90 per cent and 70 per cent respectively. “Now, we also have a consolidated policy from four public sector non-life insurance companies which gives Rs. 4 lakh and 3 lakh as a floater cover for the family,” Bhasin said.

He added that for workmen, the arrears will be given up to May 31 immediately. For officers, there will be a requirement of Board and Government permission and the arrears will be equivalent to the DA and basic payable to them. They should get this in the June salary payable in July. Prior to that, it will be anyways given as an ad-hoc subject to approval.

“Since, government is on the same page, we hope to get the approval soon. Usually, the revision of officers’ service regulation takes about 4-6 months,” Bhasin said.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Canara Bank posts Rs. 613-cr net profit

State-owned Canara Bank today reported a net profit of Rs. 612.96 crore during the last quarter of 2014-15 financial year against Rs. 610.8 crore in the same period previous year.

Total income increased to Rs. 12,429.21 crore in the quarter ended March 31, 2015, from Rs. 11,609.72 crore in the same period last fiscal, the bank said in a BSE filing.

Gross NPAs as a percentage of total advances rose to 3.89 per cent during the quarter under review from 2.49 per cent in the same quarter a year ago.

Net NPAs went up to 2.65 per cent from 1.98 per cent.

For the full fiscal 2014-15, the bank’s net profit rose 10.8 per cent to Rs. 2,702.63 crore from Rs. 2,438.19 crore in the previous fiscal.

Total income increased to Rs. 48,300.29 crore during the year ended March 31, 2015, from Rs. 43,480.37 crore during the year ended March 31, 2014.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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City Union Bank gains on good results

The stock of City Union Bank (CUB) gained almost 3 per cent on Monday, thanks to a steady performance during the March quarter. The bank had declared its results on Saturday.

CUB, which has a strong regional presence in South India, has been able to maintain its return on asset at 1.45 per cent, which is higher than most of its peers. Steady asset quality and control over operating expenses led to a 19 per cent growth in net profit during the March quarter.

Loan growth

The bank’s loan growth, though marginally higher than that reported in the December quarter, remains subdued at 11 per cent. This was mainly due to a decline in gold and large corporate loans.

However, the bank’s high-yielding MSME portfolio, which contributes about a third of the bank’s loans, continued to show healthy traction. This segment grew 25 per cent year-on-year in the March quarter.

Wholesale traders segment, which is again high yielding, grew 23 per cent.

Net interest margin, net interest income

The bank has also been able to sustain its net interest margin (NIM) in the range of 3.3-3.5 per cent range through the year. However, weak loan growth has resulted in muted growth in net interest income (NII).

During the March quarter, NII grew 11 per cent over the previous year. Strong growth in treasury income and a modest 4 per cent growth in operating expense drove a healthy growth in net profit.

Gross NPAs

The bank’s stable asset quality also aided earnings. Gross non-performing assets (GNPAs) stood at 1.86 per cent of loans in the March quarter, down from 1.81 per cent last year. The restructured assets for the bank are also among the lowest at 1.44 per cent of loans. During the March quarter, the bank has restructured one loan account to the tune of Rs. 3.5 crore.

The bank is also well capitalised for growth, with Tier 1 capital ratio at 16 per cent as of March 31, 2015.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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