Companies & Sectors
Syndicate Bank, IDBI MF in distribution partnership

Syndicate Bank CMD MG Sanghvi said the latest initiative will help the bank ramp up fee-based income, with its branches catering to various investment needs of the customers

 
Mumbai: Public sector lender Syndicate Bank has tied up with IDBI Mutual Fund (MF) to distribute their mutual fund products in a bid to expand the product offerings, the bank said, reports PTI.
 
"Our bank has taken a lot of initiatives making a separate vertical for mid-corporate and fee-based income. This tie-up with the asset management companies is one such initiative to provide customers a wider range of investment options, other than the regular banking products," Syndicate Bank chairman and managing director MG Sanghvi said.
 
He also said the latest initiative will help the bank ramp up fee-based income, with its branches catering to various investment needs of the customers.
 
On the new tie-up, chief executive officer of IDBI Mutual Fund, Debasish Mallick, said partnership with Syndicate Bank would help his organisation reach out to more customers.
 
Referring to expansion plan of the public sector lender, he said Syndicate bank has plans to expand its branch network to 3,000 from 2,707 with a total business reaching Rs3.5 trillion in the current financial year.
 
The bank has also started a special current account, savings account (Casa) campaign.
 
It will also soon resume gold coin sales along with launching of gift cards.
 

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Coal Bed Methane: A blow out?

Difficult compliance requirements in coal mines, where the mining operations are in full swing, have led to blowing away coal bed methane at a great loss to the exchequer. The coal and petroleum ministries ought to work out strategies to prevent this colossal waste

There is something radically wrong in our bureaucratic system of governance. Somehow or the other, each ministry, instead of working together, is bent upon being a stumbling block in the national development.

 

There can be no businessman who can say, without fear of contradiction that his project went through like a shot, for he followed, in letter and spirit, all the laid down rules and that he faced no stumbling blocks and no palms were greased! We all look forward to this day!

 

Take a look at the issue of coal bed methane (CBM). According to press reports, ONGC has so far spent some Rs600 crore since 2008 and got a measly revenue of Rs3 crore from CBM from the Jharia fields. The company has openly stated that it faced one bureaucratic hurdle after another and got nowhere.

 

Meanwhile, it has been simply using fans to blow away coal bed methane (CBM) worth millions of rupees. Why ONGC alone?  In fact, all the coal mines in operations just do the same! What a national colossal waste?

 

The importance of CBM is evident from the fact that there are 220 CBM projects in operation in 14 countries with Australia being singled out as a very successful miner in this area.

 

Coal India, on the other hand, has categorically advised the coal ministry that it cannot extract CBM because it has to comply with the Coal Miners Act and also be able to meet the rules pertaining to price and allocation directives of the petroleum ministry. 

 

Why can’t the coal and petroleum ministries sit together and bring about the required amendments to the existing rules that govern their inter-related operations, and frame a single regime that can be applied simultaneously without conflict of interest?

 

At the moment, because of the difficult compliance requirements in all the coal mines where the mining operations are in full swing, we are simply blowing away CBM at a great loss to the exchequer. Only a guesstimate can be made of this loss and that too, notionally!

 

(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US. He can be contacted at [email protected].)

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ICICI sees Internet overtaking branch banking channel

According to Chanda Kochhar, handheld devices like mobile phones and tablets segment, which are growing at over 100% every year as compared to the 20% growth in desktops, will help drive this growth

Mumbai: ICICI Bank said Internet-based transactions have grown to constitute a third of its total and the segment may grow to become the largest channel in future, reports PTI.

 

"More than one third of our transactions take place through Internet, making it the second most used medium. With the increase in Internet usage, it may also grow to occupy the number one position," the bank's Chief Executive and Managing Director Chanda Kochhar told reporters.

 

She said handheld devices like mobile phones and tablets segment, which are growing at over 100% every year as compared to the 20% growth in desktops, will help drive this growth.

 

The country's leading private sector bank launched a slew of products like an electronic branch which will do all the operations of a branch across the clock, tablet-based banking which will fasten account opening, a better point of sale terminal which can conduct a host of transactions and an e-locker for storing important documents.

 

Kocchar said the bank wants to "democratise" the use of technology through the launch of the products so that customers outside the realm of technology can also enjoy the fruits of technology.

 

The bank has already made 25 electronic branches operational in 18 locations in Tier-I and II cities across the country and has launched its e-locker initiative servicing 1,000 customers.

 

It has already deployed 2,000 tablets as part of its "Tab Banking" initiative across eight centres in the country, she said.

 

Kochhar, however, refused to share investment details or the cost benefits accruing out of the initiative.

 

"Customers are seeking enhanced convenience and time has also become of essence. We have studied customer requirements and launched the products which will help customers," Kochhar said.

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