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RBI Norms For Foreign Banks Are A 'Valuable Step': USIBC

Monday, January 6, 2014
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Washington: The new RBI guidelines regarding foreign bank operations in India are a “valuable step” and will provide strong regulatory transparency to the industry, the U.S. India Business Council has said.

It has, however, sought certain clarifications from the Reserve Bank of India.

“By clarifying that a one-size-fits-all model will not be employed, RBI has once again proven its long-standing reputation of being a measured, highly respected institution which takes into consideration all stakeholders including consumers,” USIBC President Ron Somers told PTI.

USIBC is the apex business advocacy organisation of the US in India which comprises top American and Indian companies.

Strong regulatory transparency

The council had said the new set of guidelines released recently by the Reserve Bank is a welcome move and will provide strong regulatory transparency to the industry.

“The guidelines provide welcome clarity and flexibility necessary for the industry, improving the investment climate for financial services in India,” USIBC said in its letter to RBI submitted on behalf of major US banks and some European ones having presence in India.

‘Near-national treatment’

USIBC has asked the central bank to define exactly what “near-national treatment” of foreign banks in India will mean.

It has also sought clarifications from RBI on certain provisions which present lingering questions for the industry, including the credit rating of the Indian subsidiary or global parent.

It has also raised questions related to new branch licensing implications if India enters into a Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CECA) with a foreign bank’s host country.

Welcoming the RBI guidelines, Somers said these rules are certainly a valuable step in the right direction.

“Global banks in India are the key to leveraging the global capital and expertise required to finance India’s trillion-dollar infrastructure challenge as well as social development,” Somers said.

“USIBC has been engaged in a dynamic dialogue with both public and private sector on the future of foreign banking in India since the original RBI discussion paper on this topic was released,” USIBC Director of Financial Policy Melissa Frakman said.


Source: PTI
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