Public sector banks cut home loan rates

High inflation and the ensuing jacking-up of interest rates by the RBI, coupled with the uncertainties on the economic growth, are believed to have dampened the home loan market

In order to prop up the sagging home loan market, state-run lenders Central Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) have announced slashing of interest rates by up to 0.25%, and also decided to waive the processing fees.

Pune-headquartered BoM has decided to give housing loans under Rs25 lakh for a five-year tenor at the reduced base rate (below which it cannot lend) of 10.60%, it said.

Similarly, the city-headquartered Central Bank of India has cut home loan rates by up to 0.25%, it said. A home loan of up to 25 years and under Rs30 lakh will be available at 10.75%

Both the lenders have also announced waiver of processing charges. While Central Bank of India is offering a blanket waiver of processing fees for loans across amounts and tenors till 31 March 2012, BoM has waived it only for applications under Rs25 lakh.

BoM charged up to Rs12,500 for such loans in the past. High inflation and the ensuing jacking-up of interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), coupled with the uncertainties on the economic growth, are believed to have dampened the home loan market.

According to the RBI's Financial Stability Report released on 12 January 2012, the housing credit growth fell to 2.3% from 10.7% a year ago.

The country's largest lender State Bank of India is also contemplating a cut in interest rates in select home loan categories where demand is slow.

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Indian Bank introduces account portability facility

“The customers can shift his or her account to any of the desired branch any number of times, without any change in the account number, with just a change in home branch code,” Indian Bank said in a statement

State-owned Indian Bank has introduced account portability feature which allows its customers to retain the account number even if they change the branch.

The facility would enable the customer to have the freedom of operating his or her account from any of the branches, Indian Bank said in statement.

"The customers can shift his or her account to any of the desired branch any number of times, without any change in the account number, with just a change in home branch code," it said.

"Customers can approach his home branch or the transferee branch with the request letter for transfer of account," it said.

Home branch having the customer's account certifies the 'know your customer' (KYC) documents while transferring the account to another branch, it added.

Indian Bank has got the account portability feature in-built in core banking software, for transfer of the deposit accounts from one branch to another branch, it said.

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Italian naval guards to be produced before local magistrate

The naval guards-Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone-were arrested by Kerala Police on Sunday and brought to the land from the ship which was intercepted and wharfed at Kochi Port. They have been charged with murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code

Kollam (Kerala): Two naval guards of the Italian ship Enrica Lexie, charged with killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast, would be produced before a local magistrate here Monday afternoon, reports PTI.

The naval guards-Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone-were arrested by Kerala Police on Sunday and brought to the land from the ship which was intercepted and wharfed at Kochi Port.

They have been charged with murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

The deceased-Valentine Jalastine and Ajeesh Binki-last week set out to sea in a boat along with nine fellow-fishermen from Neendakara fishing harbour.

They were allegedly killed by the marines of the ship who fired at their boat on 15th February.

The Italian authorities have contended that the fishing boat was fired mistaking it to be a pirates' vessel.

After four days of negotiations involving Indian and Italian diplomats, the naval guards were arrested by police in Kochi on Sunday.

They were later questioned by a team of senior police officials including Kochi City Police Commissioner MR Ajith Kumar and Kollam SP Sam Christy Daniel.

An Italian delegation on Sunday met senior external affairs ministry officials here and discussed the killing of two Indian fishermen by the guards on board an Italian ship with both sides accepting that no armed personnel can fire on unarmed fishermen.

India is hopeful that Italy will co-operate in ensuring that law of the land takes its course.

Meanwhile, Cochin Port sources said the Italian vessel would be moved to the outer anchorage within the port limits.

The ship is presently inside the oil terminal due to which other oil tankers of various companies are finding it difficult to discharge cargo.

Two tankers of Kochi Refinery are in the outer harbour waiting to discharge their cargo containing furnace oil, Euro-III and Euro-IV products.

Cochin Port and Coast Guard would monitor the movement of the Italian ship, port sources said.

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