Banks need to invest in digital platform: PwC

“Banks have generally been slow to openly embrace the digital innovation...they (the customers) are willing to pay for these and yet the majority of banks still only provide basic mobile and Internet banking services,” PwC India associate director for financial services Robin Roy said

Mumbai: Lenders in India are not investing in digital platform for banking even as customers are ready to pay for service which they use, reports PTI quoting a survey by consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

“Banks have generally been slow to openly embrace the digital innovation...they (the customers) are willing to pay for these and yet the majority of banks still only provide basic mobile and Internet banking services,” PwC India associate director for financial services Robin Roy said.

Commercial banks tend to see digital platforms only as a way to reduce costs and it is time they start to invest in their digital offerings keeping in with the expectations of the customers, he added.

PwC report ‘The Digital Tipping Point’ released yesterday, said customers are willing to pay for extra services.

Eighty five per cent of those polled in India said they will pay for transaction notifications coming through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Other areas where users are ready to pay include spending analysis tools, relevant third-party offers and storing documents in a virtual vault, among others.

Stating that the needs of the generation Y are different and that the grouping is very diligent in choosing whom they bank with, the report says, “The quality of a bank's digital offering will become a key determinant for customer stickiness.”

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SEBI confirms order against Pan Asia Advisors, Arun Panchariya

The regulator had in September last year barred Pan Asia Advisors and Arun Panchariya from “rendering services in connection with instruments that are defined as securities in the Indian securities market or in any way dealing with them, with immediate effect”

Mumbai: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Tuesday confirmed its earlier directive barring Pan Asia Advisors and the firm’s promoter Arun Panchariya from dabbling in the securities market over their alleged involvement in manipulation of Global Depository Receipts, reports PTI.

“Arun Panchariya was prima facie found to have been connected with the entities involved in the alleged manipulation in one or the other way. Given this chain of events and circumstances, the preponderance of probability at this stage suggests the involvement of Pan Asia and Arun Panchariya in the alleged scheme of things...” SEBI said in an order.

“In view of the foregoing... hereby confirm the directions issued vide the ad interim ex-parte order dated 21 September 2011, against Pan Asia Advisors and Arun Panchariya in the matter of alleged market manipulation using GDR issues,” it said.

The regulator had in September last year barred Pan Asia Advisors and Arun Panchariya from “rendering services in connection with instruments that are defined as securities in the Indian securities market or in any way dealing with them, with immediate effect.”

The case relates to large scale off-market transactions in scrips of a few companies—IKF Technologies, Avon Corporation, CAT Technologies, Asahi Infrastructure and K Sera Sera.

SEBI was alerted that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were converting the Global Depository Receipts underlying the shares of the companies held by them into equity shares to sell in the Indian market and most cancellations happened within a short period of time of their issue.

Some other distortions were also observed and SEBI had conducted an investigation into the matter.

Preliminary findings had pointed toward an elaborate scheme to manipulate trading in these securities. It was also found that Pan Asia was the manager or arranger to almost all of the issues and that the proceeds of the GDR issues were deposited in European American Investment Bank AG (Euram Bank), Austria.

SEBI’s September 2011 order was challenged by Mr Panchariya and Pan Asia before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).

SAT, while disposing of the appeal in November last year, had directed SEBI to pass a final order within four weeks on all issues raised by the appellants. However, Mr Panchariya and Pan Asia had sought additional time to file written submissions, which was granted.

Among other things, Mr Panchariya and Pan Asia had said that SEBI has no jurisdiction to pass an order against them.

While rejecting their submission, SEBI, in its order yesterday, said that “preponderance of probability at this stage suggests the involvement of Pan Asia and Arun Panchariya in the alleged scheme of things.”

With regard to the appellants claim that that they had no role to play in the alleged manipulation, the regulator, however, accepted that it is unable to consider the submission at this stage since its investigation into the matter is not yet complete.

“Considering the facts and circumstances and also the submissions made by the parties, SEBI shall expeditiously complete the investigation in the matter in the interest of justice and thereafter, shall immediately take appropriate actions in accordance with law,” it said.

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3G pacts: TDSAT reserves order on jurisdiction issue

Additional solicitor general AS Chandiok, representing DoT, told the tribunal bench headed by justice SB Sinha that TDSAT has no jurisdiction as it can only decide on a dispute between a licencee and licensor and the operators has no licence for 3G services

New Delhi: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on Tuesday reserved the judgement on the government plea that the sectoral tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain petitions of operators challenging the government's directive to stop third generation (3G) roaming agreements, reports PTI.

After a day-long hearing, the TDSAT heard the submissions of the Department of Telecom (DoT) and five operators—Bharti, Vodafone, Idea, Tatas and Aircel on the issue.

Meanwhile, the telecom tribunal expressed the opinion that operators would have to give copies of agreements on 3G roaming to the DoT. However, it did not pass any order in this regard. Operators insisted that DoT would have to furnish an undertaking for maintaining confidentiality of their pacts.

TDSAT also gave a lifeline to private telecom operators by extending its interim order that restrained DoT from taking any coercive action against them. “Till further order, interim order of 24th December to continue,” it said.

During the proceedings, additional solicitor general AS Chandiok, representing DoT, told the tribunal bench headed by justice SB Sinha that TDSAT has no jurisdiction as it can only decide on a dispute between a licencee and licensor and the operators has no licence for 3G services.

“They must be a licence holder for 3G and if they do not have, then they fall out of your jurisdiction. They are asking for determination of contractual right, which is beyond jurisdiction,” said Mr Chandiok.

Referring to the recent Supreme Court judgment, he told TDSAT that “you (tribunal) have done so in 2006, on which the apex court had said no”.

DoT further added that a licencee (operator) cannot challenge the licence terms.

However, it was opposed by a battery of counsels led by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Sighvi, appearing for one of the operators, said Section 14 of the TRAI Act gives the tribunal power to adjudicate on such dispute.

In a such a scenario, TDSAT would be wound up as large chunk of the petitions would go out of window, he said wondering where the operators would go for such grievances.

“3G roaming is a permitted activity. DoT stopped it by saying (it is) illegal. Now where should operators go, Supreme Court or to the high court?” he asked.

Moreover, on the PIL going before the Delhi High Court on the same issue, Mr Singhvi said “the submissions are identical” and could be a camouflaged petition by DoT.

Passing an order on 24th December, the tribunal had directed the DoT not to take any coercive action against telecom operators.

A day prior to that the government had asked five telecom operators to stop their inter-circle roaming on 3G bandwidth within 24 hours and it was challenged by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel and Tata Tele before TDSAT.

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