Banks in No Hurry To Link Repo with Interest Rates
Public sector banks (PSBs) are in no hurry to follow big brother State Bank of India (SBI) in linking their deposit and lending rates to the repo rate of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) , which may further irk RBI for not transmitting the lower interest rates to the customers.
 
While some of them do admit that, ultimately, linking to repo rate might happen but they are not firm on the time of such commitment. 
 
Also, several PSBs have not responded when asked if they planned to go for the external benchmark linking with repo rate.
 
A Punjab National Bank source told IANS: "No decision has been taken, but bank will take a call soon. Other banks have to follow suit sooner or later."
 
A Bank of India source said no such decision has been taken.
 
Bank of Baroda did not respond to the queries sent on the same.
 
These banks, along with SBI, corner majority of the lendings and deposits. The IDBI Bank which has LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India) as promoter, too, did not respond to queries.
 
The SBI had caused a raised eyebrow when it linked deposit, loan interest to RBI's repo rates voluntarily.
 
While the RBI guidance was to pass on the benefit of falling interest rates to borrowers by linking lending rate to an external benchmark, SBI also linked its savings bank rates (over a limit of Rs1 lakh) to the external benchmark.
 
By doing this SBI became the first bank to announce linking its interest rates on deposits and loans to an external benchmark from 1 May, 2019. This was expected to be followed by peers.
 
RBI governor, Shaktikanta Das, in February, met the top lenders asking them to pass on the benefit of repo rate cut to the customers after it had reduced its repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25%. 
 
Many bankers said the mismatch between deposits and credit growth, and competition from the government for small-savings offering over 8% returns in many schemes, raise their cost of capital, restraining them to transmit monetary policy easing. 
 
The 25 basis-point cut in repo rate is too small to have any impact on lending rates just yet, they had said. The lending rate offered by commercial banks is in the range of 8.15% to 8.55%. 
 
Anil Gupta, vice-president and sector head of financial sector ratings ICRA, said: "All PSU banks will follow it. There was a diktat from the RBI to banks to link lending rates from April 1 onwards. 
 
"For them earning a stable spread is more important. For them it is important if their lending rates are going down, then their liabilities (deposit rates) should also go down and vice versa to maintain the stable margin to cover operating costs and earn profits."
 
"There was need for regulatory requirement here to transmit the lower rates to the small borrowers. 
 
"Linking the savings deposit rate with policy rate will help faster re-pricing of liabilities for banks and help in protecting their profit margins", Mr Gupta said.
 
PSBs are cautious and "are not in favour of cutting rates as deposits and household financial savings are at low-level even while policy rates are down; the rates paid by the government on small savings are significantly higher than bank deposit rates. 
 
"Savings schemes of the government through post offices return between 7% and 9% annually along with tax benefits, while over a two year term deposit with banks, give them a return of 6.8%.
 
"Bank deposits are also growing at a much slower pace than credit forcing lenders to offer higher rates to get depositors. While bank lending has been growing at more than 14% year-on-year as of February, deposit growth has been at 9%," as per RBI data.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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Aadhaar BHIM Transactions Fall 30% in Past 5 Months
There has been a steady decline in the number of transactions on the government-owned Aadhaar Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app that is based on the unified payments interface (UPI). During the past five months, retail payments of BHIM fell almost 30% to 12.83 million transactions, shows the latest data from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
 
As per NPCI data, from October 2018 to February 2019, retail payments on the NPCI platform using BHIM fell 30% to 12.83 million transactions while the value, in rupee terms, also witnessed a steep fall of 31% to Rs56.24 billion.
 
Source: NPCI
 
During October 2018, the total number of retail payment transactions on the Aadhaar-BHIM were recorded at 18.27 million with a value of Rs82.06 billion, the data shows. This was the highest in both volume and value terms recorded during the first 11 months of FY18-19.
 
As per reports, the deceleration is a result of the delay in BHIM Aadhaar PoS (point of sale) deployment and the fact that many users do not have  smartphones which are essential for executing the transactions.
 
According to a Business Standard report quoting a banker, increased transaction time and the fact that customers also were not comfortable in sharing their biometrics details, were also factors that led to the decline. 
 
Last September, the Supreme Court declared Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act as unconstitutional and prohibited use of Aadhaar by bank account-holders, e-wallet or mobile wallet users and mobile subscribers, among others.
 
Even before the apex court decision, State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, had disabled pay to Aadhaar functionality from its BHIM SBI Pay app citing regulatory guidelines. 
 
In fact, NPCI, which developed and promotes UPI and BHIM, itself had asked banks to discontinue Aadhaar-based payments through the UPI and immediate payment system (IMPS) channels. Pay to Aadhaar is an additional functionality in UPI and IMPS where the payer can transfer funds to the beneficiary using an Aadhaar number.
 
"Aadhaar number is a sensitive information and the revised framework about its usage in the payment landscape is still evolving. With this background, we proposed removal of ‘Pay to Aadhaar’ functionality in both UPI and IMPS before the steering committee (meeting held on 5 July 2018). The proposal of removing the Aadhaar number functionality was approved by the steering committee,” NPCI had said in a circular issued on 17 July 2018.
 
Following the apex court judgement, in December 2018, SBI decided to discontinue Aadhaar-based payment system (AEPS). 
 
However, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Authority that provides Aadhaar number, asked banks not to discontinue the AEPS. In a circular sent to banks, NPCI and Reserve Bank of India (RBI), UIDAI said, "...any action to discontinue such payment/ receipt mechanism (AEPS, BHIM, Aadhaar Pay) or bank accounts by banks, on the ground that it is not possible to distinguish their use for delivery of welfare benefits or other purposes may be held contrary to Section 7 of Aadhaar Act and Puttaswamy-II judgment as it will result in creating obstruction in delivery of benefits and may cause denial in deserving cases."
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COMMENTS

tanay

6 days ago

Are transactions done via Google Pay or payzapp, Paytm-UPI and phonePe included in this 12 million transaction data??

Umadevi

1 week ago

Many including Moneylife opposed Aadhaar on the petty excuse of privacy invasion.Linking of Aadhaar & PAN was also questioned. Now why moneylife is coming out with this statistics?...

REPLY

venkat

In Reply to Umadevi 1 week ago

valid points ms uma devi, i also feel the same, given the fact that already RBI has informed to stop aadhar based transactions...

Meenal Mamdani

1 week ago

Again, confusion because the govt has not thought through the scheme, not talked to the interested parties, just rolled out the scheme with a catchy title, BHIM, to attract those who venerate Dr. Ambedkar. So typical of this Modi govt.
They are more interested in the buzz that accompanies the initial roll out than in making sure that the scheme is really workable.

Same with demonetization, GST roll out, Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, etc etc etc.

The gossip is that the Rafale deal that has become an albatross round the govt's neck is also part of the same hunger for buzz/recognition of the Chief. Apparently the Chief was so keen to show that He alone can do it, that he overrode his own officials and announced it as his own ability to make quick decisions, even though the officials wanted to iron out a few things and announce it later. So apparently the Rafale deal has more hubris than corruption in it.

REPLY

Umadevi

In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 1 week ago

You cannot wait for perfection for changes to roll out. Things will get perfect in due course only...Otherwise nothing will see light....Also officials do not want any reforms....

Pankaj

In Reply to Umadevi 7 days ago

When you (the government) are launching a scheme at national level, it has to be near perfect as it touches lives of over hundred crore citizens in various ways. Imperfection can even result into fatal losses to many citizens. Secondly, being an "experienced" Indian citizens, I know government schemes rarely become perfect in due course of time. So I will not buy your argument that things get perfect in due course of time. If your argument was true, we had better air quality today compared to 5 years ago. We had better roads and ease of commuting today than it was 5 years age. But even such basic stuff is only getting worse over time. Peace.

venkat

In Reply to Umadevi 1 week ago

the above are valid points...

Logical Indian

In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 1 week ago

Clearly a khangress supporter will blame anything going wrong on modi.

Pankaj

In Reply to Logical Indian 7 days ago

Most lame statement ever. The trend in India is "If you do not understand the problem and the way it can be solved, just give it political colors".

Chetan Kadam

In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 1 week ago

What was wrong in BHIM? as per your opinion

Essar promoters move NCLAT against ArcelorMittal bid order
Essar Steel promoters and the Standard Chartered Bank on Monday moved the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) challenging the ArcelorMittal's resolution plan for bankrupt Essar Steel, which was approved on Friday.
 
Three directors of the erstwhile Essar Steel board approached the NCLAT and mentioned the matter before a two-member Bench headed by Chairman Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya. It may be taken up after the release of full written order by the NCLT Ahmedabad Bench.
 
On Friday, the Ahmedabad Bench of the bankruptcy court cleared ArcelorMittal's Rs 42,000 crore resolution plan for acquiring Essar Steel. It suggested to distribute the resolution amount in 85:15 ratio between financial and operational creditors.
 
Essar Steel promoters, in an effort to regain control over the 10 mtpa steel asset, had made a counter offer of Rs 54,389 crore, promising 100 per cent payment to all types of creditors, after the committee of creditors (CoC) okayed ArcelorMittal's bid last October.
 
The total claims admitted in Essar Steel's resolution process is Rs 54,389 crore, comprising Rs 49,395 crore of financial creditors and Rs 4,995 crore of operational creditors. But the NCLT rejected the offer citing Section 12A of the insolvency law.
 
"We continue to believe that our settlement proposal of Rs 54,389 crore is the most compelling one available to Essar Steel creditors and fulfils the IBC's declared overriding objective of value maximisation, which has been established time and again by courts at all levels," an Essar spokesperson said after the Friday judgment.
 
Another party raising objections against the NCLT's approval is the Standard Chartered Bank that has a claim of Rs 3,487 crore against insolvent Essar Steel. But as a second category secured creditor it will get only Rs 61 crore under the ArcelorMittal's resolution plan.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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COMMENTS

Meenal Mamdani

1 week ago

I hope NCLT dismisses this complaint. If Essar had the money all along then why did it not pay the banks before it came to this?
I think Arcelor-Mittal should insist on NCLT dismissing this complaint as frivolous.
Funny that SC Bank should side with a loser like Essar even though it stands to get less in this new deal. Why would a bank agree to take less money?

jaideep shirali

1 week ago

It would be a travesty of justice if wilful defaulting promoters are allowed to prolong the IBC process. The IBC should be clearly amended to prevent such promoters for bidding for the company, once it goes to the NCLT. The current process allows the earlier promoter to find the best beaten down price for his company and lo and behold, his funds appear from nowhere. It seems to be a practice to first pretend not to have the resources to pay, bargain for partial write offs on principal and interest from banks and then suddenly have the funds to pay the beaten down amount.

AAR

1 week ago

Another time delaying tactics.

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