Mumbai: With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) throwing open a discussion on granting new banking licences, the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) today said it plans to enter the banking business through group firm Reliance Capital, reports PTI.
"We have always regarded banking as a high-priority sector with huge potential opportunity, and are evaluating the different options contained in the (RBI's proposed) guidelines," group chairman Anil Ambani said at the Annual General Meeting of Reliance Capital here.
He was referring to a discussion paper recently floated by RBI on grant of new banking licenses.
"It has always been our ambition to create a world-class bank," Mr Ambani, chairman of Reliance Capital, said.
"The Reserve Bank of India has recently come out with a discussion paper, containing revised guidelines for the grant of a banking licence," he said.
"These guidelines outline a number of different licensing options for a company such as ours, namely, conversion, promotion or acquisition," Mr Ambani told Reliance Capital shareholders at the company's 24th AGM.
Underlining the need for more banks in the country, he said that there were not enough bank branches or even ATMs to cater to the entire population.
"A strong, vibrant economy needs a sound and efficient financial system. Our financial institutions and markets must become truly inclusive so that they reach out to ordinary men and women and help them achieve their financial goals.
"In common with many other sectors of the economy, there is much to be done here," he said, adding that India was a country of over 6 lakh villages but our largest bank has only 14,000 branches.
"In fact, the ATMs of all banks taken together do not cross the 6-lakh number," he said.
Reliance Capital, which has presence in a host of financial services segments such as mutual fund, insurance and non-banking finance, has been interested for a long time in setting up a bank.
Mumbai: Hinting at a major overhaul in the regulations for insurance sector, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Agency (IRDA) today said it will soon come out with merger and acquisition (M&A) norms for insurers and initial public offer (IPO) guidelines are already on the way, reports PTI.
At the same time, IRDA also favoured portability in the health insurance space, a move that will pave the way for the consumers to switch from one insurer to the other for their mediclaim policies.
Speaking to reporters at an insurance conference here, IRDA chairman J Hari Narayan said that IPO norms for the life insurance companies are expected very shortly from the capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
At the same time, IRDA is working on M&A norms for the insurance companies and these guidelines could be announced soon, he said.
In another move aimed at benefiting the consumers, Mr Hari Narayan said that IRDA wanted portability to be introduced in the health insurance space.
Once implemented, these norms would allow consumers to switch their insurers for their health insurance policies, just like mobile number portability (MNP) that allows the telecom subscribers to switch their service provider while retaining the mobile number.
Although proposed for quite some time, the mobile number portability is yet to be implemented in the country.