WEEKLY FINANCIAL SNIPPETS- 09/12/2017

  1. SBI TO REDESIGN ENVELOPS FOR DISPATCHING INCOME TAX CHEQUES: State Bank of India will “redesign” the envelops which it uses to dispatch tax refund cheques of customers. This is to conceal their PAN No and contact numbers after an active customer raised objection that the crucial information like PAN No and contact numbers are visible in the earlier envelops which may result in misuse by some miscreants. The customer had complained to both RBI and SBI stating that SBI is violating RBI’s directions on protection of customer information. Accordingly now SBI has responded positively by agreeing to redesign the envelops.

 

  1. SEBI CLARIFIES NORMS FOR NEW MUTUAL FUND CLASSIFICATION: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has amended its October 6, 2017 circular and has modified certain norms for mutual fund classification that will make compliance easier for asset managers. In the reworked circular the SEBI has clarified on market capitalization norms for equity funds, while allowing certain other fund categories to invest in a wider range of securities.

 

  1. PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS LOOK TO FRAME COMMON RULES TO VALUE STRESSED ASSETS: The Finance ministry along with the state run banks is working to frame a common set of rules for valuation of stressed assets for faster resolution of loans extended by consortia of banks. It is observed that under cases of joint lending, banks are unable to arrive at a common valuation, which stalls the resolution process. Further individual banks also fear that if they agree to a certain haircut, it may not stand the scrutiny of vigilance agencies. The new norms will address such problems.

 

  1. PAYTM BANK AIMS FOR OVER 1 LAKH ATM BANKING OUTLETS: The newly launched Paytm Payments Bank is all set to add over I lakh ATMs pan India. These are called “Paytm Ka ATM”. The Paytm Ka ATM outlets  is a step by Paytm  towards ensuring that every Indian  has access to banking facilities. These ATMs will be neighbourhood shops, which would act as business correspondents for Paytm and offer services like opening of SB accounts, Cash Deposits and withdrawals.

 

  1. RBI RINGS ALARM ON BITCOINS, CAUTIONS CUSTOMERS : Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency which    can be purchased and stored online in a digital wallet from any of the Bitcoin exchange service provider that is active in India. You can later convert them into local currency. Reserve Bank of India is not impressed with the cryptocurrency— Bitcoin. Bitcoin is all set to touch a record $12,000 but RBI has cautioned Bitcoin players that they face potential risks, including financial, legal and those related to customer protection. In a statement RBI has clarified that it has not given any licence or authorisation to any entity to operate schemes or deal with Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

 

  1. RBI REDUCES FEES ON DEBIT CARD PAYMENT FOR SMALL SHOPS : RBI has decided to reduce the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) for debit card transactions. Under the new rules there are different slabs depending on the turnover of the business. For small business (with a turnover of Rs 20 lakh or less), the MDR cap would be @ 0.4% or Rs 200/- whichever is lower. For other merchants, the MDR cap would be 0.9% or Rs. 1,000 per transaction whichever is lower. But payment gateways are crying foul stating that with no equitable distribution of MDR, the slashing of rates will only add to their pain.
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