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”).Continue Reading Fair lending practices on levy of penal charges
In its constant endeavour to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and financing of other illegal activities, the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has, vide a letter dated May 4, 2023, amended the Master Directions on Know Your Customer, 2016 and instructed all banks, financial institutions and other Regulated Entities (“REs”) to comply with the newly added KYC norms for wire transfers (“RBI Instructions”). It is a known fact that money launderers across the world have been using wire transfers for long now, as a means to facilitate illegal acts, owing to less/ no regulatory scrutiny.Continue Reading RBI Further Pierces The Wire Transfer Veil
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has published the latest of the payments vision documents titled ‘Payments Vision 2025’ with a view to build on the recent success in the digital payments space in India and the successful implementation of Payments Vision 2021. We will discuss the key developments in payments which the RBI envisages till 2025.
The RBI in its Payments Vision 2025 has set out a core theme on its vision on payments. The theme is E-payments for everyone, everywhere, everytime (4 Es). The vision set forth by the RBI in Payments Solution 2025 is to provide every user with six attributes with respect to E-payments. These are Safe, Secure, Fast, Convenient, Accessible and Affordable E-payment options. The RBI has published Payments Vision 2025 across five anchor goalposts of Integrity, Inclusion, Innovation, Institutionalisation and Internationalisation, with specific directions for each of the goalposts.
Continue Reading FIG PAPER (NO. 14) – RBI’s Vision for Payment Systems till 2025
With the pandemic acting as a tailwind for the digital payments industry in India, the fintech industry represents a key opportunity for the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) for its financial inclusion push in the country. A key driver in this regard is the burgeoning prepaid payment instruments (“PPI”) industry. PPIs have been widely used in the country for many years, but have seen significant commercial changes in recent times to reach a wider consumer base, given the high market penetration of mobile internet in India.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 8) – New Master Directions for PPI – A Fresh Look at Prepaid Payment Instruments!
Cryptocurrencies, worryingly unregulated, decentralised virtual currencies, are steadily gaining traction in the Indian transaction landscape. With digitalisation and smart contracts becoming the new norm (especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic), global trade in cryptocurrencies has increased by leaps and bounds. However, one cannot ignore the unprecedented rise in cybercrimes across the globe, relatable to virtual currencies. The expansion of the cryptocurrency landscape poses various challenges in the form of regulatory, legal, and operational risks. Whilst appropriate measures to regulate cryptocurrencies are the need of the hour, the Indian judiciary has been rather proactive in its dealing with such cryptic virtual currencies.Continue Reading Delhi Court attempts to decode the cryptic case of cryptocurrencies in India
In our previous FIG Paper, we shared key learnings from our experience in connection with the payment aggregator and payment gateway guidelines (“PA/PG Guidelines”) issued by the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) on March 17, 2020. Based on representations received from various industry associations and payment intermediaries, the RBI has formalised the clarifications (initially issued on September 17, 2020) relating to the PA/PG Guidelines on March 31, 2021 (“Clarifications”).
Continue Reading FIG Papers (No. 6: Series–2) RBI Payment Regulations – 2009 to 2021: Bank ‘nodals’ to PA/PG licenses!
The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has modified the regulatory landscape applicable to core investment companies (“CICs”), as per its circular dated August 13, 2020 (“Revised Framework”), in order to ensure stability of the financial system and address systemic risks posed by inter-connectedness of CICs and their group companies. In contrast to the light-touch regulation issued exactly a decade ago on August 12, 2010, the Revised Framework imposes far more stricter norms.
In furtherance to its announcement in the Statement on Development and Regulatory Policies issued on June 6, 2019, along with the Second Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy for the year 2019-20, the RBI constituted a working group under the chairmanship of Mr. Tapan Ray (non-executive chairman, Central Bank of India and former secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs) (“Working Group”) to review the regulatory and supervisory framework applicable to CICs. The Working Group issued its report in November 2019 and the Revised Framework has now been issued based on the recommendations of the Working Group.
Continue Reading Revised Framework for Core Investment Companies – Tightening the Screws?
Given prevailing market conditions, Indian corporates have increasingly been facing issues in accessing credit from onshore loan and debt capital markets. Recent Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulations aimed at growing the debt capital market in India and reducing dependence of corporate India on loans from the Indian banking sector require that certain Indian companies must necessarily fund a specified percentage of their debt requirements by issuing bonds.
The forthcoming implementation of new norms on single and group exposures for the Indian banking system is also resulting in some of the larger corporates having to look at other options beyond their preferred relationship banks onshore for meeting their debt funding requirements. Both the non-banking sector and the mutual fund industry in India – significant sources for onshore debt markets – are also currently grappling with their own set of challenges. In this environment, these amendments to the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) framework are most welcome as they will allow Indian companies to look at tapping the offshore loan and bond markets for raising debt capital.
Continue Reading Amendments to the ECB Policy – A Big Boost for Cross-Border Financings?
At the heart of any modern democracy lies the doctrine of separation of powers, which ensures division of responsibilities and also structurally validates a key principle of governance, i.e., allowing each institution to function autonomously, while still maintaining accountability within the larger legislative framework. In codifying its own unique (and somewhat limited) interpretation of this doctrine, the Constitution of India delineates functions of the Union and the states, allowing Parliament to legislate on the functions of key agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Reserve Bank of India (Entry 38, Seventh Schedule).
Continue Reading The Executive, The Central Bank and The Fault in their Stars
The Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have brought about several measures to resolve non-performing assets (NPAs). Several NPAs may have arisen from credit facilities that were sanctioned by banks as a commercial decision taken in good faith and in the ordinary course of conducting banking business. Equally there could be cases where NPAs arise as a result of siphoning of funds by the borrower or promoters or other connected entities.
Several serving and retired bankers have recently been charged and/or arrested on suspicion of criminal misconduct over alleged loan fraud under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (Principal Act). There have been instances of arrest of bank officials without any proof of quid pro quo or wrongdoings.Continue Reading The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2013: Impact on Decision Making in Banks