1. SBI MERGER: CUSTOMERS BANK ON ONLINE SERVICES AND EXPECT CROWDED BRANCHES: Most of the customers of former associate banks are finding the merger of their bank with SBI beneficial and feel more secure. Over the past two weeks since the merger, customers have not been through many hassles as there has been no change in account number and IFSC code as of now. SBI will start the data –merging of the six banks soon. Once this is done then the bank will decide on which branch to keep and which branch to close down. There will be reduction of staff as some will get transferred and shifted. Because of this, most customers feel that the branches will be over crowded.
2. RBI GOVERNOR Mr URJIT PATEL SAYS PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS MERGER COULD HELP INDIAN BANKING SYSTEM: RBI Governor Mr Urjit Patel has said that the Indian banking system could be better off if some public sector banks are consolidated to have fewer but healthier entities as it would help in dealing with the problem of stressed assets. He said merging of weak banks with strong banks will not pose much problem since there are cooperative banks and micro-financial institutions to provide community level banking. He also said that the public sector banks need to raise private capital from the market than relying on government help.
3. INDIA POST PAYMENT BANK TO OPEN 650 BRANCHES THIS YEAR: India Post Payment Bank (IPPB) is planning mega expansion to open 650 branches this year. The first two branches have been opened in Ranchi and Raipur in January 2017. They intend to open at least one branch per district across the country and each branch will be networked with about 1200 to 1500 post offices in a district.
4. PROVIDENT FUND RULES CHANGED. NOW PAY HOME LOAN EMIs AND BUY HOUSE FROM DEPOSITS: The government has amended rules of the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme which will be helpful to over four crore subscribers. Some of the finer points are: A) Subscribers will be able to withdraw up to 90% of their accumulations for purchase/construction of houses or purchase of land. B) To avail this facility the subscriber needs to be a member of a cooperative society or a society registered for housing purpose and the payment will be made directly to the housing agency and not to the provident fund subscriber. C) The new rule also provides that monthly loan instalments towards house purchase can be paid from provident fund deposits.
5. PRIME MINISTER LAUNCHES NEW BHIM-AADHAAR PLATFORM TO BOOST DIGITAL PAYMENTS: The BHIM app, already launched in December 2106 has created world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads. In a further push towards digital economy, Prime Minister has launched a new platform called BHIM-Aadhaar, for merchants to facilitate digital payments. BHIM-Aadhaar, the merchant interface of BHIM app will enable every Indian citizen ( whose Aadhaar card is linked to his bank account) to pay digitally by using their biometric data like their thumb imprint on a merchant biometric enabled device which could be a smartphone having biometric reader. This will be a huge boost for Indian Economy moving towards digital payments.
6. HDFC BANK TRIMS 6,000 JOBS IN THREE MONTHS: HDFC Bank’s head count has come down by 6,000 owing to digitisation. This is the result of “Natural Attrition” which has driven down the head count as newer hands are not hired for those who have resigned. This has improved the bank’s cost-to-income ratio to 42.4% from 44.9%.