Banking And Finance Updates for RBI Grade B Exam and Interviews

1. The Government of India signed a loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for US $123.51 million for tranche 3 of the Infrastructure Development Investment Program for Tourism to continue upgrading tourism infrastructure and services in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

2. The commodities regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) formally merged with the securities market regulator SEBI in Mumbai. According to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the ultimate objective of merging Forward Markets Commission (FMC) with SEBI is to face the challenges posed by borderless market. Forward Markets Commission (FMC) was established in 1953.

3. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that government has set disbursement target for micro and marginal businesses under MUDRA scheme during the current fiscal at Rs. 1.22 lakh crore. MUDRA has been established as a subsidiary of SIDBI with an initial corpus of Rs. 5,000 crore to provide capital to all banks seeking refinancing of small business loans under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY). PMMY loans fall into three categories – Shishu (up to Rs. 50,000), Kishore (Rs. 50,000-Rs. 5 lakh) and Tarun (Rs. 5-10 lakh).

4. Snapdeal, India's largest online marketplace in partnership with educational loans specialists Credila - an HDFC group Company, has launched the country's first customized education loans offering on an e-commerce platform. The partnership will usher faster loan process. Customers will have the opportunity to avail exciting benefits, like up to 100% finance of their education with no upper cap on loan and easy EMI repayments at attractive rates of interest.

 5. In its biggest ever fine, Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) imposed a penalty of 7,269 crore rupees on PACL Ltd. and its four directors for illegal and fraudulent mobilisation of funds from the public.

6. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the The New India Assurance Company Limited on providing a comprehensive and affordable Health Insurance Scheme - “Swavlamban Health Insurance Scheme” - for the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). The scheme has been designed to deliver comprehensive cover to the beneficiary as well as his family (PwD, Spouse & up to two children), has a single premium across age band and can be availed by PwDs aged between 18 years and 65 years with family annual income of less than Rs. 3,00,000 per annum. The scheme also ensures coverage of any pre-existing condition and a health Insurance cover up to Rs. 2, 00,000 per annum as family floater.

7. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered growth projections for India for the current fiscal to 7.4 per cent, from the 7.8 per cent earlier due to weak monsoon, poor external demand and inability of the government to push economic reforms in Parliament. It has retained the consumer inflation forecast for India at 4 per cent (+/- 0.2 per cent).

8. The Central Board of Trustees of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has decided to enhance the deposit linked Insurance benefit to 6 lakh rupees from the present 3 lakh 60 thousand.

9. Indian Bankers Chanda Kochhar and Arundhati Bhattacharya have been ranked as top two in a list of most powerful women in Asia Pacific prepared by the global magazine Fortune. Kochhar, 53, who heads the country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has been ranked at the top, up from the second position last year. She is followed by Arundhati Bhattacharya, the chairman of the country's largest lender State Bank of India, whose ranking has also moved up from the fourth spot she was at last year.

10. Reserve Bank of India inked an agreement with Nepal Rastra Bank on exchange of supervisory information. The Reserve Bank of India signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 'Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information' with the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).

11. Axis Bank launched ‘LIME’ service. It is country's first mobile phone application which is offering wallet, shopping, and payments and banking facilities.

12. The Union Cabinet allowed 100% FDI under the automatic route for white label ATM operation. White labeled ATMs are set up by private non-bank companies that own and operate their own brand of ATMs.

13. Union Cabinet approved a new Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme and also a Gold Monetisation Scheme to incentivise people to park their gold assets in a paper format and earn interest, while seeking to productively use vast amounts of this idle metal in the economy. Under the gold bond scheme up to 500 grams worth of bonds per annum can be bought by an individual with lock-in of five-seven years and appropriate interest so that they are protected from volatility. The Gold Monetisation Scheme, also approved, calls for people to deposit their gold with authorised agencies for a short-, medium- or long-term periods, for which they will be given certificates of holding. This will also bear interest. This has been done to replenish the Reserve Bank's gold reserves.

14. Doha Bank has tied up with the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group to generate business opportunities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations and India.

15. Sri Lanka Central Bank has received 1.1 billion dollars from the Reserve Bank of India under the currency swap agreement between the two reserve banks.

16. The Reserve Bank of India declared SBI and ICICI Bank as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs), which literally means that these banks are so integral to the national economy that their failure would have to be prevented at any cost. While State Bank of India (SBI) is the largest public sector bank and the largest banking entity in the country, ICICI Bank is the largest private sector bank in the country.

17. Largest private lender ICICI Bank launched the country's first mortgage guarantee-backed home loan product that will expand the credit amount and increase the tenure for an additional fee as well.

18. Bandhan Bank began operations as a full-fledged lender across the country. It has started operations with 1.43 crore accounts, a loan book of around Rs.10,500 crore and 19,500 employees. To begin with, it has got 501 branches, 2022 service centres and 50 ATMs across 24 states.Bandhan, which started as an NGO in 2001 and later turned into a microfinance institute, is the first MFI to become a universal bank. Chandra Shekhar Ghosh is the founder-MD and CEO of Bandhan Bank.

19. The Reserve Bank of India issued a notification, according to which banks can extend loan repayment period up to 5 years in case 50% crop is damaged due to natural calamities like drought and flood. However, if crop damage is 33%, the loan repayment period can be extended up to 2 years, including one year of moratorium.

20. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched two funds by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), a fund of funds with total corpus of Rs 12,000 crore. The funds are Rs 2,000-crore India Aspiration Fund (IAF) and SIDBI Make In India Loan For Enterprises (SMILE) scheme with an investment size of Rs 10,000 crore.

21. The State Bank of India has launched its mobile wallet — State Bank Buddy — in collaboration with Accenture and MasterCard. The mobile wallet app is available in 13 languages on Google Play Store.

22. The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), the major player in the insurance sector launched its new endowment plus ULIP product

23. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a new campaign 'Start-up India, Stand-up India' to promote bank financing for start-ups and offer incentives to boost entrepreneurship and job creation.

24. Government appointed new heads in five Public Sector Banks. Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Canara Bank have become the first public sector banks which will be headed by private sector professionals. P.S. Jayakumar (53), who currently heads realty firm VBHC Value Homes, has been appointed as the managing director & chief executive officer of Bank of Baroda. MD and CEO of private sector lender Laxmi Vilas Bank Rakesh Sharma (57) will head Canara Bank. M.O. Rego (Deputy Managing Director, IDBI Bank), Kishore Kharat Piraji (Executive Director, Union Bank of India), and Usha Ananthasubramanian (CMD, Bhartiya Mahila Bank) are the new MD and CEOs of Bank of India, IDBI Bank and Punjab National Bank, respectively.

25. The Reserve Bank of India paid a dividend of nearly Rs. 66,000 crore to the government, the highest ever from the central bank in its 80-year history, and 22% more than it paid last year.

26. The programme to pay cash subsidy to cooking gas LPG consumers has been recognised by Guinness Book of World Records as the largest cash transfer programme in the world. The Direct Benefit Transfer on LPG (DBTL), or Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh (PAHAL) scheme, was launched in 54 districts on November 15, 2014 and all over the country from January 1, 2015 with a view to provide subsidy to the right beneficiary and to cut diversion and subsidised fuel being consumed by unintended segments like restaurants and other commercial establishments.

27. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) allowed banks to tie up with insurance companies. This decision is taken on the basis of 'Bancasurance' guidelines soon to be notified. Prior to this decision no bank was allowed to tie up with more than one insurance company.

28. In view of the forthcoming festival of Raksha Bandhan, a special enrolment drive, “Suraksha Bandhan”, is being launched by participating banks and insurance companies for enrolling bank account holders in Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY). 

29. ICICI Bank has launched its ‘Saral-Rural Housing Loan’ at base rate of 9.7 per cent for borrowers from the rural areas.The loan would range from Rs. 5-15 lakh for a period of 3–20 years and the loan could be up to 90 per cent of the property value.The offer would be available in 189 cities across the country.

30. In a historic move, retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) kickstarted the process of investing in the stock market, with an initial corpus of around Rs. 5,000 crore to be invested through Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in the current fiscal.

31. Federal Bank launched India’s first Mobile App for Bank Account Opening in Mumbai. Federal Bank has introduced this unique facility of Mobile based Bank Account Opening as an upgrade to FedBook, its e-Passbook App, launched two years ago.

32. Snapdeal, an online marketplace, and HDFC Bank launched a co-branded credit card, 'Snapdeal HDFC Bank credit card' in partnership with Visa.

33. Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) launched “Kotak Bharat”, mobile banking app primarily for “un-banked” regions. “Kotak Bharat” is the ‘inclusive digital banking’ app launched by KMB that is primarily targeted to benefit customers in the under-banked and un-banked regions, who can access its services in their preferred language.

34. BNP Paribas, a multi-national bank announced to acquire Indian retail brokerage firm Sharekhan Limited. BNP Paribas is the leading French bank with worldwide presence.

35. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to issue coins of 5 rupees denomination to commemorate golden jubilee year of
Indo-Pak War 1965

36. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted in principle approval to 10 entities to set up small finance banks to provide basic banking services to small farmers and micro industries. The in-principle approval will enable these entities comply with the guidelines on Small Finance Banks and will be valid for 18 months.

37. The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday gave an in-principle nod to eleven entities to launch a payments bank—the first set of differentiated bank licences to be issued by the regulator.
The eleven companies include conglomerates and large telecom firms like Reliance Industries Ltd, Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd, Vodafone m-pesa Ltd and Tech Mahindra Ltd.

38. RBI decided to issue 10 rupees coins to commemorate International Day of Yoga.

39. RBI permitted CBS-enabled Cooperative Banks to issue ATM cards in tie-up with a sponsor bank.

40. Indian Bank Launches IndPay mobile app service -To enables its customers to operate bank accounts anytime from anywhere

41. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted permission to the Indian corporate to issue offshore rupee-denominated bonds outside India.

42. Samiran Chakraborty has been appointed as Chief Economist of global banking major Citibank for India.

43. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed banks to fix their own interest rates on gold deposits under the Gold Monetisation Scheme.Designated banks will accept gold deposits under the Short Term Bank Deposit (1-3 years), Medium (5-7 years) and Long term (12-15 years) Government Deposit Schemes.

44. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information.

45. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has established Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) with Rs. 2000 crore corpus expanding reach of banking services.

Click Here for Gold Monetization Scheme (GMS), Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme, Indian Gold Coins

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