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RBI panel wants licensing regime to be in uniform mode

The Reserve Bank of India committee headed by P.J. Nayak, former chairman of Axis Bank, tollok into banking governance, said there is a need for bank licencing regime to be in a uniform mode for all broad-based banks, irrespective of their ownership. The committee’s report said the one-licence regulatory regime for banks with broad-ranging businesses would also not preclude RBI issuing niche licences under other more narrowly defined, licensing regimes, if it were to choose to do so. The report said: “It would be desirable for the bank licensing regime to move to a uniform license across all broad-based banks, irrespective of ownership, subject to inter-jurisdictional reciprocity considerations in respect of foreign banks, and niche licenses for banks with more narrowly defined businesses.” Such a licensing regime would also involve uniform investment limits across investor categories, irrespective of ownership, the report added. Apart from the government’s own controlling stake, all other investment limits recommended for private sector banks should also thereby be applicable to public sector banks. This will facilitate larger pools of capital coming into these banks, and assist in improving public sector bank market valuations, said the report.

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