Standard Chartered Bank has launched its SME Banking World Debit Card, a cash management tool that provides convenience, savings and relationship rewards for small and medium enterprise customers
Standard Chartered Bank said that it has launched its SME Banking World Debit Card, a cash management tool that provides convenience, savings and relationship rewards for small and medium enterprise (SME) customers.
This debit card is available to all SME customers having a transactional account with the bank.
"The card is a feature of Standard Chartered's strengthened SME Banking offering launched last year," a press release stated.
The Standard Chartered SME Banking World Debit Card, designed to cater the specific needs of SMEs, has the feature of being a first-to-market proposition of enabling different limits for different cardholders, thus mitigating the risk due to multiple cards.
The other feature is that a debit card for each account signatory is now possible, thus enabling greater convenience and flexibility in transacting, the release said.
It also a high daily cash withdrawal and spending limit of up to a maximum of Rs5 lakh to support business spends, which the bank said is the highest in the market. The card also provides international access with global payments at over 30 million establishments and cash withdrawal from more than 1 million ATMs worldwide.
Card holders also get to enjoy complimentary privileges, including Kingfisher Airlines King Club membership, Accor Hotel offers, Hertz Club membership, MasterCard Moments (exclusive offers for spas, golf, wine clubs and tours) and a host of other local privileges pertaining to travel, stay, business solutions, communications and office support, which would be of utmost benefit to SME customers, the release said.
"The strengthened SME banking offering aims to seamlessly meet the evolving financial needs of India's fast growing SMEs and power their aspirations for growth in the Indian and international markets," Standard Chartered Bank SME Banking India general manager Rakesh Singh said.
Standard Chartered's strengthened SME Banking offering is based on customer-research and aims to provide a comprehensive suite of solutions to cater to the evolving needs of SMEs. It offers one-stop-banking solutions to enterprises and their owners by leveraging the strengths of the bank's consumer and wholesale banking businesses, the release said.
The finance ministry will have a look at the draft guidelines for giving new banking licences, which would be announced by the RBI in a few days, and invite comments before the final norms are notified
New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will announce draft guidelines for giving new banking licences in the next few days, reports PTI quoting the finance ministry.
"RBI will come up with the guidelines by the end of this month," Department of Economic Affairs secretary R Gopalan told reporters on the sidelines of a CII function.
He further said the finance ministry would have a look at the draft guidelines and comments would be invited before the final guidelines were notified.
In the Budget 2011-12, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had said the RBI plans to issue guidelines for the grant of new banking licences before the close of this financial year.
In the last budget, it was announced that the RBI would consider giving traditional banking licences to private sector players, he had said.
Following the announcement made by the finance minister, the central bank had brought out a discussion paper in August 2010, on giving out new banking licenses to business houses and non-banking finance companies, besides regulations for the same to foster greater competition.
The RBI also sought to know "whether industrial and business houses could be allowed to promote banks." Furthermore, it sought stakeholders' views on whether NBFCs should be allowed to convert into or promote banks.
The RBI has received comments on its discussion paper from all stakeholders.
Various entities like Reliance Capital, Indiabulls, Religare, IL&FS, IDFC, IFCI and Aditya Birla Financial Services are reported to be mulling an entry into the banking space.
At present, India has 26 public sector banks, seven new private sector banks, 15 old private sector banks, 31 foreign banks, 86 regional rural banks, four local area banks, 1,721 urban cooperative banks, 31 state cooperative banks and 371 district central cooperative banks.
“We have not said no, but I tell them, there are soooooo many procedures. We have to follow alllllll the procedures!” This is how Indian politicians, bureaucrats have been dealing with the insistent demands and pressures from the US, especially on defence deals. A look at the WikiLeaks cables, accessed and reported by The Hindu…
India signed an agreement with the US in 2005 during prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington. The US had very high hopes on the "New Framework for the US-India Defence Relationship" pact, however, after five years the Americans could not gain much from the treaty or subsequent arrangements.
Indian officials and ministers used a simple method 'not to say no for anything' to deal with the increasing pressure from the US. This was revealed in the leaked US Embassy cables, accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks, which provide an insight into the military and strategic considerations of US administrations towards seeking closer ties with India.
After 2005, the US was able to sell more equipment to the Indian military, but it was eager for 'breakthrough' sales, especially after signing an end-use monitoring (EUM) pact with India in 2009. However, despite applying constant pressure on India, the US was not able to gain the desired results, especially on interoperability and access.
According to The Hindu, whatever the promises held out by the defence agreement signed in 2005, the actual balance sheet for the US is mixed today. "The primary reason for the mixed balance sheet has been democratic opposition in the polity and public life of the country, to which influential sections of the media have also contributed," the newspaper said.
The US, especially the Pentagon (the US military), had been pushing for an Access and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) and was not averse to stepping further to seek 'Cooperative Security Locations' (CSLs) in India. However, the US Embassy's cable reveals that India was not ready for these proposals and CSLs would become 'political dynamite'. The cable says, "Indian airfields and ports hold tremendous potential for CSLs. However, we have not broached this idea with the government of India (GOI), nor do we think it can soon be deployed during this divided political climate in Delhi. We are close to resolution on ACSA, but the idea of CSLs would be political dynamite here as the opposition parties and Left would exploit this against the ruling party." (cable 30136, dated 5 April 2005: secret)
Before, the then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Washington in June 2005, an Indian official advised the US administration on how to counter the general sceptical tenor of media coverage. According to a cable (cable 31045, dated 19 April 2005: confidential), S Jaishankar, joint secretary, at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), who is at present the Indian ambassador to China, described "defence correspondents as the most dubious of change in the Indo-US relationship". In a meeting with assistant secretary of state, Christina Rocca, the Indian official suggested a top US general to speak with them (the defence correspondents) during his forthcoming visit in order to 'make in-roads into this constituency'. "He (Mr Jaishankar) also pointed to 'conversions' such as Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash who had been doubtful about the US as a partner only a few months ago, but had 'turned around' as a result of his visit to the US in March," the cable revealed.
The latest cable that WiliLeaks has is from 2009, in which the US Embassy blames politicians and bureaucrats for slowing down relationships that military officials were keen to go ahead with. The Flournoy sceneletter and other cables addressed to Hillary Clinton, said, "While the Indian uniformed leadership of all three Services, and in particular the Indian Navy, appreciate their improving ties with the United States military, bureaucratic inertia and recalcitrant officials in the Ministries of External Affairs and Defense continue to complicate attempts to improve the partnership."
The secret cable sent under the name of ambassador Timothy Roemer, noted that the "civilian leadership (politicians in India) continues to defer on key foundational documents necessary to move the US-India mil-to-mil relationship closer." This, the ambassador noted, was "for fear that the political opposition would seize on it to further their often repeated claims that India is sub-serving its foreign policy to that of the US."
(Read the complete report here: http://www.thehindu.com/news/the-india-cables/)