Firms get into the act, make a beeline to set up new banks

Days after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released final guidelines for licensing of new banks in the private sector, companies have swung into action.

Companies are leaving no stones unturned and doing everything including finalising business plans, restructuring advisory panel and scheduling board meetings to ensure they are able to submit their application to the RBI before July 1.

Financial services firm Religare Enterprises will induct new members in the advisory panel, formed a year ago, to guide the company in its banking foray.

“We would be adding a new member in the panel and reactivate that,” said Shachindra Nath, group CEO, Religare Enterprises. “We have done our groundwork, we will speed up the work.”

The RBI, on Friday, released guidelines for licensing of new banks in the private sector. The challenge for applicants will be to prepare a viable business plan to convince the banking regulator, which had issued only two licenses (Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank) a decade earlier.

“We will apply for banking license,” said Hemant Kanoria, chairman and managing director, Srei Infrastructure Finance. “We had already done our preparation, now after the final guidelines, we will see what other things are required.”

Another aspirant Power Finance Corporation said its board would soon discuss applying for a bank license.

“We qualify in both categories ... either we can set up a bank or convert ourselves into a bank,” said Satnam Singh, chairman and managing director, Power Finance Corp.


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