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INTRODUCTION

  • The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has published the “Guidelines on Voluntary transition of Small Finance Banks to Universal Banks” dated April 26, 2024 (“SFB Guidelines 2024”), setting out the glide path for voluntary transition of Small Finance Banks (“SFBs”) to universal banks (“Universal Banks”) in terms of:
    • Guidelines for “on-tap” Licensing of Small Finance Banks in Private Sector dated December 5, 2019 (“SFB Guidelines 2019”);
    • Guidelines for “on tap” Licensing of Universal Banks in the Private Sector dated August 1, 2016 (“Universal Bank Guidelines”);
    • Reserve Bank of India (Acquisition and Holding of Shares or Voting Rights in Banking Companies) Directions, 2023 dated January 16, 2023 (“Acquisition Directions 2023”); and
    • Guidelines on Acquisition and Holding of Shares or Voting Rights in Banking Companies dated January 16, 2023 (“Acquisition Guidelines 2023”).
Continue Reading SFB to Universal Bank – New Glide Path
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Global Capacity Centres (GCCs) take centre stage in fuelling global growth

Emergence and Transformative Evolution of GCCs in India

Global Capacity Centres (“GCCs”) started as offshore global in-house centres (“GICs”) in the Indian  banking industry to help cut costs and provide operational support to the service offerings of a foreign entity (“Foreign Entity”). India has gained credence as a favourable destination because of its skilled human resources (wide talent pool) and competent operational costs. As of FY 2022–23, India’s approximately 1,580 GCCs have 1.66 million employees,[1] and this number is rapidly increasing.

Continue Reading Global Capacity Centres (GCCs) take centre stage in fuelling global growth
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FIG Paper No. 28, Data Law Series 2:
Implications of Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 on Indian Banks

Introduction

In the current landscape, Indian banks are bound by data protection obligations under the provisions and rules of the Information Technology Act, 2000, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and relevant directives of the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”). As we await the enforcement of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 (“DPDP Act”) and the publishing of its rules (“DPDP Rules”), there will be a paradigm shift in the data processing protocols of banks amongst other financial entities.

Continue Reading FIG Paper No. 28, Data Law Series 2: Implications of Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 on Indian Banks
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Fair lending practices on levy of penal charges

The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) recently issued instructions on practices to be adopted for charging penal interest/ charges on loans, vide its notification dated August 18, 2023, titled ‘Fair Lending Practice – Penal Charges in Loan Accounts’ (“Circular”).

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Financial Regulation

Central banks and other financial regulatory authorities are responsible for influencing major investment decisions and resource allocation through their policies. In India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has joined a growing number central banks and financial regulators, who have incorporated climate change into their financial stability mandate seeking to frame prudential regulations and/or direct credit towards sustainable projects. We have analysed the recent developments in our previous posts available here and here.

Continue Reading Green Central Banks and Financial Regulators – Are they Legally Mandated?
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Legal Regime of Negotiable Instruments

Introduction

Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (“NI Act”), ascribes criminal liability for dishonour of a cheque. The purpose of the provision has been held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court to be the promotion of efficacy of banking operations and to ensure credibility in transacting business through cheques.[i] Since a large number of such transactions and cheque payments are done by companies, the very same intent appears to be captured in Section 141 of the NI Act, which extends vicarious criminal liability on officers associated with the company or firm. The law on Section 141 of the NI Act has been clarified and elaborated upon from time to time. However, the broad principle guiding the extent of liability remains the involvement of the director concerned in the day-to-day business affairs of the company. This is, however, not a straight-jacket formula, and the nuances determining the extent of liability need to be examined closely.

Continue Reading Directors’ Vicarious Liability under Current Legal Regime of Negotiable Instruments Act: An Analysis of Evolving Judicial Precedents

SEBI Operational Guidelines

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has recently issued the operational guidelines (“Operational Guidelines”)[1] for its circular dated August 13, 2021, on ‘Security and Covenant Monitoring using Distributed Ledger Technology’ (the “DLT Circular”)[2]. This article will examine the key highlights of the Operational Guidelines and analyse their impact.

Continue Reading A Technology Driven Approach to Achieving Compliance: SEBI’s Operational Guidelines for Monitoring of Security and Covenants

Bank Guarantee

A move that may prove to be a game-changer but the proof lies in the pudding

A government procurement contract (GPC) for goods and/ or services usually requires the elected counterparty (Contractor) to furnish a bank guarantee (BG) of upto 5-10% of the contract value as performance security, as per General Financial Rules 2017. Rising non-performing assets, in recent years, have prompted banks to exercise greater caution while issuing BGs, due to which, the cost of procuring a BG has gone up from 20-40 basis points to 50-130 basis points and the cash margin required for securing a BG has also increased from 15-20% to 40-100% of the amount of the BG. Owing to these factors, the procurement of a BG has become increasingly cumbersome for Contractors and they have been long-advocating the need for an alternative to BGs.

Continue Reading Replacement of bank guarantees with surety bonds in government procurement: A welcome relief?

Housing Finance Companies - Proposed changes by RBI

 

The Central Government had, with effect from August 09, 2019, transferred regulatory powers of the Housing Finance Companies (“HFCs”) from the National Housing Bank (“NHB”) to the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”). It is further stated that the RBI will review the extant of regulatory framework applicable to HFCs and issue the same in due course.  Until such time, HFCs were required to comply with the directions and instructions issued by NHB.[1]

Pursuant to the above and in order to increase the efficiency of HFCs, the RBI has now placed a draft of the changes proposed in the regulations applicable to HFCs for public comments till July 15, 2020, which we have briefly summarised below: Continue Reading Housing Finance Companies – Proposed changes by RBI

 

On June 08, 2020, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released two draft frameworks — one for securitisation of standard assets (Draft Securitisation Framework) and the other on sale of loan exposures (Draft Sale Framework). In our previous article (available here), we had dealt with key revisions introduced by the RBI under the Draft Securitisation Framework. This article contains a brief summary of the Draft Sale Framework.

The Draft Sale Framework is addressed to the same constituents as the Draft Securitisation Framework and is expected to operate as an umbrella framework, which will govern all loan transfers (standard and stressed assets).

The Draft Sale Framework is broadly divided into three parts viz., (i) general conditions applicable to all loan transfers; (ii) provisions dealing with sale and purchase of standard assets; and (iii) provisions dealing with sale and transfer of stressed assets (including purchase by ARCs).

Continue Reading RBI’s move to revamp loan transfers in India