Polaris Software unit wins financial technology project in Andhra Pradesh

Polaris Software Lab Ltd said its unit Laser Soft won a project from the Andhra Pradesh State Cooperative Bank Ltd (APCOB) to implement core banking solution (CBS) in all its 22 district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) spread across the state. No price details of the contract were provided.

The proposed implementation will be executed through a unique multi-entity CBS rebranded as intellect core banking solution, with centralised deployment at Hyderabad being used by 569 branches and 22 head offices of the DCCBs. This cost effective model will facilitate easy transaction among customers of each of these banks across the other DCCBs, as if it were one bank without any re-conciliation issues. The new core banking solution will go live across all DCCBs under APCOB within this financial year, the company said in a regulatory filing.

On Tuesday, Polaris Software shares closed 3.8% higher at Rs192 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the Sensex ended at 1% up at 17,614 points.

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Postal Dept’s global money transfer service comes under ED scanner

While the Enforcement Directorate has asked India Post to check for suspect transactions, the Financial Intelligence Unit has asked the State-run postal service provider to strictly comply with the reporting norms

Global money transfer and banking operations of the country's postal department are being scanned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and other agencies for suspected terror-financing and hawala-like transactions, reports PTI.

At present, there are no other official channels, besides the pure banking route, to transfer or receive money from abroad.

The Department of Posts had started this service in association with US-based Western Union Financial Services in April 2001 and customers can send or receive money from 205 countries.

According to top finance ministry sources, the ED and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) — an agency to monitor suspect financing in Indian financial channels — have initiated steps to check remittances and transactions on the wires on a "real time basis".

In 2008-09, the 'India Post' had delivered remittances to the tune of more than Rs7,649 crore.

While the ED has asked 'India Post' to keep a check on all "kinds of transactions" and inform it of suspect transactions, the FIU has asked the service provider to strictly comply with the reporting norms.

Under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), all banking entities or financial intermediaries who facilitate telegraphic or wire transfers or electronic remittances have to report the nature and value of the transactions to the FIU.

"Also, the banking operations conducted by the India Post have been largely unregulated. There are many small accounts with a lot of money. The enforcement agencies are now tracking the remittances and withdrawals," a source said.

The international money transfer service is currently available from 8,511 post offices.

Enforcement agencies believe that this step to monitor India Post network would help them track down suspect financial transactions and further share it with international agencies to combat money laundering and financing of terror.

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Air India to hire chief strategy officer, COO for budget arm

The decision came as part of its continued efforts to restructure and beef up management, as the national carrier carried out a major shake-up among its top-level executives

In a bid to restructure its top hierarchy, Air India (AI) plans to hire some senior executives, including a chief strategy officer (CSO) and a chief operating officer (COO) for its low-cost international arm Air India Express, reports PTI.

The decision came as part of its continued efforts to restructure and beef up the management, as the national carrier carried out a major shake-up among its top-level executives, airline sources said today.

In the exercise which will come into effect from 15th July, a reshuffle of jobs handled by six executive directors was carried out. It would also see shuffling of eight general manager level and three deputy general manager level officers.

Now, National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL), which runs Air India, plans to hire a chief strategy officer and a chief operating officer for Air India Express, the sources said.

Air India Express does not have a COO since the exit of Captain P P Singh, who completed a three-year contract with the airline last September.

NACIL also plans to hire a chief information officer to oversee its IT division as well as a chief communication officers to handle its corporate communication division and a chief human resources advisor, the sources said.

The chief strategy officer would be responsible for managing the business transformation office and work closely with CMD Arvind Jadhav and COO Gustav Baldauf to ensure that the turnaround strategy is translated into action, the sources said. He or she would also be responsible for identifying and tracking strategic initiatives, they said.

These decisions come over a month after COO Baldauf was appointed.

The national carrier is in the process of taking major steps to restructure itself by curtailing costs and enhancing revenue and savings.

The move comes ahead of a meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Air India, headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, next month.

The GoM would deliberate on the measures taken by the ailing national carrier to effect a turnaround after suffering an estimated loss of Rs5,400 crore in 2009-10.

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