EPFO won’t look at past performance while making new AMCs

EPFO is in the process of appointing multiple fund managers for managing its funds for a three year period beginning 1st July

Retirement fund body EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) will not take into account the past performance of previously engaged ICICI Pru, HSBC AMC, SBI and Reliance Capital while finalising the new asset management companies (AMCs) for managing its Rs3 lakh crore corpus.

“Since the returns on investment provided by four fund managers were above the benchmark level of 8.52%, past performance as EPFO’s fund manager would not be given any weightage while making fresh appointments,” a source privy to the development told PTI. EPFO is in the process of appointing multiple fund managers for managing its funds for a three year period beginning 1st July.

The meeting of the committee to recommend the appointment of the fund managers for EPFO to its trustees is likely to be held next week where the panel would shortlist eligible AMCs.

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IRDA may allow banks to sell products of multiple insurers

“The regulator is considering to open up distribution channel... The final call by IRDA will be taken soon,” Life Insurance Council Secretary General SB Mathur said

To increase insurance penetration, the regulator IRDA (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority) is contemplating allowing banks to sell products of more than one insurance firm.

“The regulator is considering to open up distribution channel... The final call by IRDA will be taken soon,” Life Insurance Council Secretary General SB Mathur said on the sidelines a conference of CEOs of insurance companies.

As per the current practice, a bank is allowed to sell products of a life insurance company, a general and a health insurance firm. There has been long pending demand from insurers for relaxing bank distribution channel.

To study distribution channels–agency, bancassurance, referrals, direct sales etc, the regulator had set up a 10-member committee, headed by former LIC chairman NM Govardhan in 2007. The committee which submitted 60-page report in 2009, suggested various measures for increasing distribution.

Mr Mathur also said the life insurers are expecting 15% rise in new business premium in the current fiscal. The new business premium grew 14.5% to Rs1,25,800 crore in 2010-11 from Rs1,09,894 crore in the previous year.

Despite an uncertain environment the total premium of life insurance industry increased by 8% compared to Rs2,86,500 crore in the previous fiscal, he said.

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Vijaya Bank launches V-Insta debit card

The V-Insta Debit card, valid for 10 years, provides customers an instant debit card on opening the account that can be used for cash withdrawals at any ATMs throughout the world

Bangalore-headquartered Vijaya Bank has launched a new variant of its debit card product called V-Insta Debit card. This is one of the variants of its alternate delivery channel products and issued in association with Visa International.

The bank’s CMD, HS Upendra Kamath, said: “The future days of banking will be green banking (paperless banking) using advanced safe and secure payment delivery channels wherein customer can transact at his convenience i.e. simple, smart and economical banking at their touch points.”

The bank’s executive director Shubhalakshmi Panse said V-Insta debit card would act as a one stop solution for cash withdrawals, purchase, travel, utility payments and shopping. The V-Insta Debit card, valid for 10 years, provides customers an instant debit card on opening the account that can be used for cash withdrawals at any ATMs throughout the world as well as merchant locations globally.

The daily limits for cash withdrawal is Rs30,000 and for merchant transaction Rs25,000. It would soon be enabled for usage online, the bank said.

With the new product, the bank aims to add an additional 10 lakh cards so as to reach a card base of 25 lakh in the current financial year.

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