WEEKLY FINANCIAL SNIPPETS – 13/01/2018

1. RBI INSTRUCTS BANKS TO RECALIBRE ATMs FOR DISPENSING Rs.200 NOTES: As per the directions from RBI, all banks have started recalibrating the ATMs to dispense the new Rs. 200 bank notes which were introduced in August 2017.There are nearly 2.4 lakh ATMs across the country and according to industry experts, the overall recalibration process may cost banks Rs 100 to Rs 125 Crores.

2. GOVERNMENT TO ROLL OUT 650 BRANCHES OF INDIA POST PAYMENTS BANK: The India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) which was incorporated on August 17, 2016 had launched two pilot branches in January 2017 at Ranchi and Raipur but after that it was unable to launch any further branches. Now Government has announced that it will rollout around 650 branches by April 2018. IPPB has now entered into an MOU with Punjab National Bank and PNB MetLife India Insurance Co Ltd.

3. INDIA’S FOREX RESERVES AT FRESH RECORD HIGH: India’s Foreign Exchange reserves scaled to new high of $ 409.36 billion compared to the previous week. Foreign currency assets form a key component of reserves of the country.

4. WILFUL DEFAULTERS FORM 14% OF PSBs TOTAL BAD LOANS: The total Gross Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of 21 Public Sector Banks stood at Rs. 7.33 lakh crore as on September 30, 2017. Out of this, Rs. 1.01 lakh crore of loans, roughly around 14% have been identified as wilful defaults. Wilful Default broadly means that the borrower has failed on the agreement for usage of funds or has not paid despite having resources to pay.

5. GOVERNMENT OPENS FDI GATES WIDE OPEN: The cabinet has eased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in some critical areas like single brand retail, pharmaceuticals, power exchange and broking services in construction. It has now permitted for 100% FDI in single brand retail through the direct route. The cabinet has also decided to allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49% in ailing Air India.

6. SBI REVIEWING MINIMUM BALANCE CHARGES FOR SAVINGS ACCOUNTS: In April 2017, the State Bank of India had introduced charge on non-maintenance of monthly average balance in SB accounts after a gap of 5 years. Now SBI has said that it is reviewing these charges after receiving feedback/complaints from its customers. Meantime the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella organisation of all the bank unions, has sought Finance Minister’s intervention to roll back the hike in charges imposed on customers.

7. AADHAAR –“A SITTING DUCK” FOR CYBER CRIMES: A recent newspaper report claimed breach of Aadhaar database and access to crucial Aadhaar information for a paltry sum. A study by a group affiliated to Reserve Bank of India has also raised serious safety issues regarding the breach of Aadhaar database. The report says cyber vulnerability of Aadhaar is a bigger concern than the possible commercial misuse. In an era where cyber threats are frequent, the major challenge for UIDAI is to protect the Aadhaar data under its control since the biometrics is now an important national asset which has huge ramifications for various government programmes and the banking system.

8. SBI GARNERED Rs 1,771 CRORE AS FINE FOR VIOLATION OF MINIMUM BALANCE REQUIREMENT RULES: State Bank of India has collected a staggering Rs 1,771 crores as fine from customers who failed to maintain minimum balance requirements in their savings bank account from April to December 2017.

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