Banking
HSBC exits private banking business in India
Multinational banking major HSBC on Friday announced its decision to exit private banking business in India while offering its existing clients the HSBC Premier, a global retail banking and wealth management proposition.
 
There will be no loss of jobs because of the closure decision, said a bank spokesman.
 
"After strategic review of global private banking operations in India, we have decided to close down the business," the spokesman told IANS, adding HSBC will be closely working with its clients to minimise the impact of the decision on them.
 
The closure of private banking business is not related to the controversy of black money accounts of over 1,000 Indians in HSBC Geneva.
 
The spokesperson said HSBC is investing in its HSBC Premier product in India to enhance its range of products and services.
 
The organisation is silent on the size of portfolio handled by its private banking division in India or the number of people employed in the division.
 
HSBC now joins Morgan Stanley and Royal Bank of Scotland in exiting the private banking space as a part of the business rejig process.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Chandragupta Acharya

1 year ago

The reason for closing the business appears vague and unconvincing, though HSBC has clarified that this is not related to the now famous “HSBC list”. Bloomberg reports that this was a profit-making business, whereas the HSBC’s Retail and Wealth Management businesses in India are loss making. Since there would be no job losses, this is not a cost cutting exercise either. One may recall that Income Tax had conducted a “survey” of the bank in February this year, seized some documents and called senior executives for questioning. Though there was no follow up reporting about this in media later, given the notoriety of the bank in question, one wonders whether there is more to it than meets the eye.

Gold Bond scheme gets good response: Government
The first tranche of the Sovereign Gold Bond scheme has received an excellent response, garnering over Rs.240 crore, an official said on Friday.
 
"Gold Bond Scheme: 63000 applications for 917 kgs. gold amounting to Rs.246 cr in first tranche. Excellent response for an innovative product," tweeted Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.
 
The government, on Wednesday, had extended the issue date of the scheme's first tranche by four days to November 30 to enable proper processing.
 
A finance ministry statement said a large number of applications had been received by banks and post offices, which were designated sale points, and the date was extended from November 26 to November 30 "to enable smooth uploading of applications into RBI's E-kuber system, particularly by the post offices".
 
Subscription for the bonds, announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the 2015-16 budget as a financial asset serving as an alternative to the precious metal, was open from November 5 to 20.
 
Denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with minimum investment of two grams and maximum of 500 grams per person per fiscal, the bonds were to be sold only to resident Indian entities including individuals, Hindu undivided families, trusts, universities, and charitable institutions. For joint holders, the limit will be applied on the first holder.
 
The issue and redemption price are in Indian rupees fixed on the basis of the previous week's (Monday-Friday) simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd.
 
Having an eight year tenure with exit option beginning the fifth year onwards, the bonds will also be tradable in the bourses. The rate of interest will be 2.75 percent per annum payable semi-annually on the initial value of investment.
 
They can be used as collateral for loans, with the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio to be set equal to ordinary gold loan mandated by the RBI from time to time.
 
Interest on gold bonds will be taxable as per the provision of Income Tax Act, 1961 and capital gains tax shall also remain same as in the case of physical gold.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

MG Warrier

1 year ago

Happy to know. This could be a trend-setter. Gold Deposit Scheme will also take off, once an awareness is created about the benefits among the prospective investors. I understand that the authorities are trying to convince Trusts and charitable organisations including places of worship holding huge quantity of gold to deposit part of it to earn income. Slowly all the three schemes will pick up and I am optimistic about GOLD playing an important role in economic growth in the near future.

Do cooperative housing societies come under RTI ambit?
Some recent decisions by Information Commissioner Prof M Sridhar Acharyulu mention that the President and Secretary of Co-operative Housing Societies are deemed PIOs under the RTI. The Supreme Court, however, has ruled that only cooperative societies owned, controlled or funded by the state fall under RTI ambit. Let's take a look at this ever controversial and much discussed issue
 

Case 1: 

 
CIC Decision: 21 October 2015
Ashok Sardana vs Registrar of Cooperative Societies
 
Right to Information (RTI) appellant Ashok Sardana had sought information regarding Nav Sansad Vihar Cooperative Group Housing Society. He wanted copy of the complete noting of case in respect of Vijay Sardana membership case, under Section 25 of Department of Registrar Co-operative Society Act (DCS).
 
Having received no information from the PIO and claiming non-compliance of Order from the First Appellate Authority (FAA), he approached the Central Information Commission (CIC) with his second appeal. During the hearing, Information Commissioner Prof M Sridhar Acharyulu (Madabhushi Sridhar), passed the following order which mentions the President of the co-operative housing society (CHS) as the deemed Public Information Officer (PIO). 
 
The order states: 
The Commission having heard the submissions and perused the record, directs the President of the Nav Sansad Vihar CGHS, considering him as deemed PIO under the RTI Act, to furnish the information..."within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order. 
 
The Commission also directs the PIO/ARCS concerned and the President of the said Housing Society to be present before the Commission..."
 
"... In response to the above notice, the PIO, BK Puri, ARCS was present before the Commission and made submissions that they had directed the Housing Society on 1-10-2014 to provide information to the appellant.  But they have not complied so far.  The society is also not represented by any of its representatives as directed by the Commission in its earlier order.  In view of this, the Commission directs the Secretary/deemed PIO of the Housing Society to show cause as to why maximum penalty should not be imposed on him for not complying with the Commission's order and for not furnishing the information to the appellant within the prescribed period.  His explanation should reach the Commission within 21 days from the date of receipt of this order.
 
.....
 

Case 2:

 
CIC Decision: 21 October 2015
Mohan Lal Jain vs GNCTD
 
Mohan Lal Jain, through his RTI application had submitted that his flat was on the top floor and the seepage coming through the roof, has to be taken care of by the Society as per rules. The CHS has not taken any action. The respondent authority summoned the President of the society on 18-6-2014 and the Society assured the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies (ARCS) to attend to the Appellant's grievance. But nothing was done. In view of this the Commission directed the President of the CHS to show cause as to why maximum penalty should not be imposed on him for not furnishing the information to the appellant within the prescribed period as directed by the FAA. His explanation should reach the Commission within 21 days from the date of receipt of this order.
 
 ....           
 

Case 3

 
CIC Decision: 12 December 2014
 
Ramesh Hirani from Baroda filed a RTI application dated 27 August 2012 seeking information with respect to compliance of the CIC Order dated 4 May 2012, regarding his expulsion from the CHS that he was residing, that is, the Navkunj Co-operative Housing Society. The PIO, during the hearing before the Commission stated that in spite of writing four times to the Navkunj Cooperative Group Housing Society, in 2013, the said Society has not sent the files concerning the expulsion of the appellant.  Hence, they replied to the appellant that unless his expulsion is approved by them, he does not stand expelled from the Society as per law.
 
When the Commission queried the representatives of the Registration of Co-operative Societies, as to what penal action they can take against the Society for not replying to them, they stated that they can only supersede the Management Committee of the Society under Section 37 of the DCS Act and appoint an Administrator for the same.  They cannot derecognise the society. They suggested that the President or Secretary   of the Management Committee of the Society should be held responsible for obstruction of the information to the appellant.   
 
The order stated: "The Commission, therefore, holds the President/ Secretary of the Management Committee of Nav Kunj Cooperative Group Housing Society as deemed PIOs as far as the breach of Right to Information of the appellant is concerned as they refused to respond to four letters written by the Registrar of   Cooperative Societies, who is the regulator. The Commission considers this as a deliberate obstruction on continuity of information to the appellant and hence the Commission issues Show Cause Notice to the President/Secretary of the Nav Kunj CGHS to explain why maximum penalty cannot be imposed against them under Section 20 of the RTI Act, considering them as deemed PIOs of the Society."  
 
....
 

Case 4

 
CIC Decision: 30 September 2015
BC Raana vs Registrar of Co-operative Housing Society (RCS)
 
Raana is a member of the Himachal Pradesh Co-operative Group Housing Society. He had, by his RTI application, sought to know the action taken by the RCS on his complaint dated 12 July 2012, against his housing society which had allegedly misappropriated Rs5 crore. Having received no information, he filed first appeal. Claiming non-furnishing of information, he approached the Commission in second appeal. 
 
The CIC order stated that, "The RCS is under an obligation to take action against the Society based on the inquiry report. But they are silent on this and also not furnishing any information to the appellant in this regard. The Commission having heard the submissions and perused the record directs the PIO to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed on him for not furnishing information to the appellant within the prescribed period. His explanation should reach the Commission within 21 days from the date of receipt of this order." 
 
The Commission further directed the PIO of the Registrar of Co-operative Societies to furnish the information to the appellant within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order. (Which implies that the RCS is duty bound to get information from the relevant housing society as it comes under the RTI Act.)
 
According to RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar, with the enactment of the 97th amendment to the Constitution of India and its inclusion in Article 19 of the Constitution, formation of cooperative societies has become one of the fundamental rights of an Indian citizen. "Besides, they have been given the status of local self-government like rural and urban municipal bodies in Part 9 of the Constitution. Cooperative societies have thus come under the ambit of the Right to Information Act. Some recent CIC decisions show that the President and the Secretary of housing societies have been termed as Deemed PIOs," he said.
 
He says, "As per Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act, "public authority" means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted-
 
(a) by or under the Constitution;
 
(b) by any other law made by Parliament;
 
(c) by any other law made by the State Legislature;
 
(d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate government, and now as per Section 2
 
(h) (a) of RTI Act, any cooperative society has become an 'authority' or 'body' or "institution of self-government" established or constituted by or under the Constitution and hence, it comes  under the ambit of the RTI Act.
 
According to Advocate Aruna Giri's posting in www.lawyersclubofindia.com, "This judgement differentiates the coop societies into two categories. A Category- Cooperative societies owned or controlled or substantially financed by the State or Central Government or formed, established or constituted by law made by Parliament or State Legislature. B Category- All other cooperative societies. The Supreme Court says only the B category will not come under the RTI Act. 
 
"I reproduce the order of the Supreme Court: 
 
"12. We are in these appeals concerned only with the co-operative societies registered or deemed to be registered under the Co-operative Societies Act, which are not owned, controlled or substantially financed by the State or Central Government or formed, established or constituted by law made by Parliament or State Legislature."
 
"51. We have found, on facts, that the Societies, in these appeals, are not public authorities and, hence, not legally obliged to furnish any information sought for by a citizen under the RTI Act. All the same, if there is any dispute on facts as to whether a particular Society is a public authority or not, the State Information Officer can examine the same and find out whether the Society in question satisfies the test laid in this judgment."
 
The links for documents:
 
The complete judgement is http://indiankanoon.org/doc/37517217/
 
 
 
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, and also convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book "To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte" with Vinita Kamte and is the author of "The Mighty Fall".)

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COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

1 year ago

Co-op Housing Society's 90% complaints can be resolved if, Member reads Bye-laws fully.
Almost all the States in India, have almost same Bye-laws after 97th Constitutional Amendment.
If still members find it difficulty in redressing their difficulties related to their Co-op. Housing Society matter, kindly refer your complaint to NGO Moneylife Foundation's Legal Resource Centre, to solve their complaint free of charge. Penal experts will redress your complaint.
You may Email your complaint to Email ID:
moneylife.in/lrc.html

manoharlalsharma

1 year ago

articals of CHS., r very much interesting as RTI is concerned but there r JTR have no GUTS to issue SHOW CAUSE notice because political interference beyond HC/SC directives r not implemented properly.With due regards,
We, Flat Owners but not Admitted as Members in at Shree Ganesh Co-Operative Housing Society citing the ‘BYE-LAWS’. Plot No-01 sector No-28,Nerul Navi-Mumbai-400706,

We 316 members (out of total 454) and most of us are senior- citizens are highly discouraged and some of the members discreetly sold their flats at highly discounted price to market for denial of Membership, the litigation became U.S.P. to pocket handsome cash premium for MC.

The self appointed MC and behavior land mafias like and tactics to restraint our attending AGMs or EGMs as well to get shield its ulterior motives from action taking quasi-judicial authorities by lending multiple Vexatious cases in the Bombay High Court, Case Nos. as (1) WP- 8508/2003, (2) WP (St) No 15277/2014 and (3) WP (St) No-8132/2015, all against the orders issued that too after the direction of Bombay HC so instead of compliance ,disrespecting and despite already decided case by the HC through i) PIL-474-1996, ii) WP- 5771/1997 and iii) SC/10922-98 and also issue settled by the CIDCO & Jt. Registrar /CBD as well as present Minister for co-operation.

We are compelled to pay our maintenance without bill and with Non-Occupancy charges in the hands of self appointed MC and to defend by filing repeated petitions at Bombay HC.

We now Request your urgent order to Non-Corrupt officer for Special Audit before matter goes very serious as ‘the said housing society committee may gear up for redevelopment plan on Completing 20/25 years and to ‘save our fundamental right in the Share Capital of housing society

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to manoharlalsharma 1 year ago

Manoharlal Shartma ji,
NGO Moneylife Foundation has a Legal Resource Centre (LRC), which solves all your problems of your Co-operative Housing Society (CHS),free of charge.
Kindly refer your CHS problem to LTC's Email ID: moneylife.in/lrc.html

Manoj Kamra

1 year ago

cooperative societies can not be fully exempted from rti act.At least regulatory documents being submitted to the registrar be accessible.

Advocate-Raminder Singh Sahota

1 year ago

The RTI Act is not applicable on the co-operative societies not owned by state government or central government. The fact is that the State act for the co-operative societies is having a built-in sections and rules based on the RTI act applicable to the members and also the societies. I found it from the web-site legal dash path dot com and also from the advocateji dot com recently. This web site gives a lot of information on co-operative societies.

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to Advocate-Raminder Singh Sahota 1 year ago

You are correct, Adv. Sahta ji.
Society's Bye-laws are very clear in solving all the problems of its members.
Bye-laws to solve members' difficulties are included, under the heading "Redressal of Members Complaints".
People don't read the Bye-laws, and want their Society's difficulties/complaints to be solved by others, the service which do not come free of charge. Competent persons who reads Bye-laws are lacking even among the Advocates.

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