RBI releases draft guidelines for ‘on tap’ licensing of universal banks

New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday released the draft guidelines for ‘on tap’ licensing of universal banks in the private sector and sought comments on them.

“The suggestions on the draft guidelines may be sent by June 30 this year. Final guidelines and inviting applications for setting up of new universal banks in the private sector will be initiated after receiving the feedback,” the RBI said in a statement.

The resident individuals and professionals having 10 years of experience in banking and finance are eligible to promote universal banks, according the draft guidelines.

Large industrial or business houses are excluded as eligible entities but permitted to invest in the banks to the extent of less than 10 percent, it said.

The initial minimum paid-up voting equity capital for a bank will be Rs.5 billion and thereafter, it should have a minimum net worth of Rs.5 billion at all times.

The aggregate foreign shareholding in the bank should be 74 percent, as per the existing foreign direct investment (FDI) policy.

The licensing window will be open on-tap, and the applications in the prescribed form along with requisite information could be submitted to the RBI at any point of time, it said.

The decision to issue an in-principle approval for setting up of a bank will be taken by the central bank and will be valid for 18 months.

Non-operative financial holding company (NOFHC) has now been made non-mandatory in case of promoters being individuals or standalone entities. Promoter must own at least 51 percent of the total paid-up equity capital of the NOFHC, it said.

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