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

Role of IFSC in the Indian SPAC Dream

In part 2 of this series of blogs (Key Features IFSC Lisiting Regulations in Relation to Listing of SPACs), we touched upon the newly-introduced framework for the issuance and listing of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) at the International Financial Services Centres (“IFSC”) under the International Financial Services Centres Authority (Issuance and Listing of Securities) Regulations, 2021 (“IFSC Listing Regulations”). In this part of the blog we are going to look at the IFSC Listing Regulations with a critical eye to detect the gaps that continue to exist despite the framework being put in place and identify areas that can be improved upon to leverage the unique status of entities in IFSC.

Continue Reading Role of IFSC in the Indian SPAC Dream: An Overview – Part 3

Metaverse

The metaverse and its use-cases

There are many ways to describe the ‘metaverse’: a post-reality universe that allows several users to participate in a shared virtual environment, an immersive 3-D extension of the internet itself, or even as the next frontier of the digital economy. In due course, the metaverse may align itself with its initial usage, as described in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, as a vast digital environment where users could interact with each other. While the Metaverse may escape the contours of a universally accepted definition (for some time at least), it will, by present trends, continue to capture popular culture, imagination and increasingly, various aspects of life. As early as 2005, the metaverse had begun to be considered as something more than simply being centered around MMORPGs (or massively multiplayer online role-playing games). Today, the Indian market already bears witness to the proliferation of augmented reality, virtual reality, and elements of the ‘metaverse’ across several B2B, B2C and C2C applications. Indian tech firms and start-ups have been quick to respond.

Continue Reading FIG Papers (No. 11: Series-1) Into the Metaverse: Legal and regulatory considerations in India

Fintech Department

In recent years, in line with global trends, India’s growth has been fuelled by technology and platform economy, with physical moving towards digital and ‘phygital’.

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 10: Series -1) RBI’s New FinTech Department: Industry Implications & Future

Fintech

The end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 has come bearing gifts for the financial technology (“Fintech”) sector particularly for the lending space. The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) had amended the Credit Information Companies Regulations, 2006 (“Regulations”) on November 10, 2021 vide the Credit Information Companies (Amendment) Regulations, 2021  (“Amendment”)[1] – the first amendment since 2017 – expanding the scope of entities falling within the definition of ‘specified users’ under Regulation 3 to include “an entity engaged in the processing of information, for the support or benefit of credit institutions, and satisfying the criteria laid down by the Reserve Bank from time to time.”

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 9) – RBI Press Release on ‘Specified Users’ – New Year Relief for Fintech Companies

IFSC Banking Units – offshore branches with onshore dispute resolution

The Gujarat International Financial Tec-City (“GIFT”) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, is India’s first operational greenfield smart city, housing a domestic tariff zone and an International Financial Services Centre (“IFSC”) in a Multi-service Special Economic Zone (“SEZ”). As part of developing India’s very own and first IFSC, both Indian and foreign banks are permitted to establish and operate IFSC Banking Units (“IBU”) from GIFT IFSC, upon obtaining the requisite licenses and permissions. The IBUs have the advantage or the ability to transact in freely convertible foreign currencies in the offshore markets, while being situated within the territorial borders of India. From 2015 to early 2020, the Reserve bank of India issued notifications and regulations related to the IFSC framework. Thereafter, on April 27, 2020, the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2020, was notified, pursuant to which the International Financial Services Centres Authority (“IFSCA”) was established on October 1, 2020, as the unified regulator with wide powers to develop and regulate financial products, financial services, and financial institutions in IFSCs, including IBUs.

Continue Reading IFSC Banking Units – offshore branches with onshore dispute resolution?

Overhaul of the ARC Framework – Need of the hour

In continuance of various measures to resolve the pile of non-performing assets (NPAs) in the financial sector, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has now turned its focus on the role and framework of Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) in being an important part of the solution. Even though the ARCs were in the game since enactment of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (“SARFAESI”), their performance has been sub-optimal and the recovery percentage abysmally low.[1]

Continue Reading Overhaul of the ARC Framework – Need of the hour

Aircraft Leasing in IFSC

In our previous post we had provided a synopsis of the legal framework relating to aircraft leasing in India and Indian IFSCs. In this piece, we will provide an overview of the tax incentives offered to the aircraft leasing activities undertaken from  IFSCs located in India to achieve the dream of developing the GIFT IFSC into a global aircraft leasing hub. We have provided  a few more thoughts to ponder upon as India fuels its engines to realise its objective of ‘letting the common citizen of the country fly’ (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik).

Continue Reading Part III (B): Aircraft Leasing in IFSC – Let’s kick the tires and light the fires!

Aircraft Leasing in IFSC

The Government of India (“GOI”) has, in the recent years, realised the importance of aircraft leasing activities in the global market and has made its intentions clear to promote aircraft leasing and financing activities in India’s first International Financial Services Centre (“IFSC”) situated in GIFT City, Gandhinagar. The aim is to bring the aircraft leasing business,  currently being carried out in countries that have established themselves in this sector such as Ireland, USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc[1], to the Indian shores. Leasing aircraft from abroad leads to incurring substantial liabilities payable in foreign currencies. Hedging currency fluctuations also becomes an additional cost for Indian airline operating companies. The above reasons highlight cost-inefficiencies and put into perspective how crucial it is to begin aircraft leasing and financing activities in India.

Continue Reading Part III (A): Aircraft Leasing in IFSC – Let’s kick the tires and light the fires!

Role of IFSC in the Indian SPAC Dream: An Overview – Part 2

In part 1 of this series of blogs (Role of IFSC in Indian SPAC Dream- An Overview), we succinctly summarised the various dimensions of IFSCs, viz. their ‘foreign territory’ status in India, applicable laws and regulation and the development of regulatory regime for special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) listings therein.

Continue Reading Role of IFSC in the Indian SPAC Dream: An Overview – Part 2