Photo of Lily Vadera

Senior regulatory advisor in the  Financing Practice at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. She is the former Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India (RBI)  has served RBI for more than three decades and headed the crucial department of regulation where she dealt with the regulatory framework for various entities in financial sector, covering all categories of banks and non-banking finance companies. She framed regulations for Fintech players and played significant role in amalgamation of banks in stress. She also played an important role as a member of Insolvency Law Committee set up by Ministry of Corporate Affairs. She can be reached at


  • 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

FIG Paper (No. 32) - Outsourcing of Financial Services: Harmonising the Law and Looking Ahead


The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) issued the draft Master Direction – Reserve Bank of India (Managing Risks and Code of Conduct in Outsourcing of Financial Services) Directions, 2023 (“Draft MD”), on October 26, 2023. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the digitisation of financial services globally, financial institutions started becoming increasingly dependent on their service partners and agents to reduce costs and avail expertise not available internally.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 32 – Series 1): Outsourcing of Financial Services: Harmonising the Law and Looking Ahead

FIG Paper


While the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) had in its August 10, 2022 press release stated that it is examining the First Loss Default Guarantee (“FLDG”) structures, the Digital Lending Guidelines issued by the RBI on September 2, 2022 neither permitted nor expressly prohibited loss sharing arrangements such as FLDGs, but recommended that provisions of paragraph 6(c) of the Reserve Bank of India (Securitisation of Standard Assets) Directions, 2021 dated September 24, 2021 (“Securitisation MD”) be adhered to for financial products involving contractual agreements such as FLDG. Paragraph 6(c) of Securitisation MD prohibits Regulated Entities (“RE”) from undertaking or assuming exposure under “synthetic securitisation” structures. This led to industry-wide confusion regarding the permissibility of loss sharing arrangements such as FLDG.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No.18 – Series 2) RBI’s New Default Loss Guarantee Guidelines: Late but Not lost

Financial institutions have invested heavily into artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning (“ML”) techniques globally, and in India, over the past decade. There are estimates that AI technologies could potentially contribute towards US$ 1 trillion in additional value for the global banking sector, and a World Economic Forum survey indicated that seventy seven per cent of all respondents (151 fintechs and financial institutions from thirty three countries) anticipated AI to possess a high or a very high overall importance in their businesses in the near future. Tangible use-cases in the financial sector have resultantly sprung, benefitting both customers and investors through robo advisors, portfolio optimisation, and algorithmic trading bots. Financial institutions on their part have benefitted greatly through chat bots handling consumer interactions and grievances, identity verification (including video KYC), predictive analytics to mitigate and minimise frauds, etc.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 19 – Series 1)- AI/ ML, ChatGPT: Legal and regulatory considerations for financial service use-cases

FIG Papers

The recent Master Directions issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Credit cards and Debit cards – Issuance and Conduct Directions, 2022, dated April 21, 2022, is a consolidation of existing guidelines on the subject, except that it has brought about greater clarity by providing definitions on what is a credit card, credit limit and other related terminologies. In addition, it has spelt out more explicitly the scope of co-branding arrangements and the roles of card issuers and co-branding partners.Continue Reading FIG Papers (No. 12: Series-1) RBI Master Directions on Credit and Debit Cards