contd:- payment banks:
Internet banking –
The RBI is also open to applicants transacting primarily using the Internet. The Payments Bank is expected to leverage technology to offer low cost banking solutions. Such a bank should ensure that it has all enabling systems in place including business partners, third party service providers and risk managements systems and controls to enable offering transactional services on the internet. While offering such services, the Payments Bank will be required to comply with RBI instructions on information security, electronic banking, technology risk management and cyber frauds.
Functioning as Business Correspondent (BC) of other banks –
A Payments Bank may choose to become a BC of another bank for credit and other services which it cannot offer.
The Payments Bank cannot set up subsidiaries to undertake non-banking financial services activities. The other financial and non-financial services activities of the promoters, if any, should be kept distinctly ring-fenced and not comingled with the banking and financial services business of the Payments Bank.
The Payments Bank will be required to use the word “Payments” in its name in order to differentiate it from other banks.
5. Deployment of funds
The Payments Bank cannot undertake lending activities. Apart from amounts maintained as Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) with RBI, minimum cash in hand and balances with a scheduled commercial bank/RBI required for operational activities and liquidity management, it will be required to invest all its monies in Government securities/Treasury Bills with maturity up to one year that are recognized by RBI as eligible securities for maintenance of Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR). The Payments Bank will participate in the payment and settlement system and will have access to the inter-bank uncollateralised call money market and the collateralised CBLO market for purposes of temporary liquidity management.
6. Capital requirement
Since the Payments Bank will not be allowed to assume any credit risk, and if its investments are held to maturity, such investments need not be marked to market and there may not be any need for capital for market risk. However, the Payments Bank will be exposed to operational risk. The Payments Bank will also be required to invest heavily in technological infrastructure for its operations. The capital will be utilised for creation of such fixed assets. Therefore, the minimum paid up voting equity capital of the Payments Bank shall be Rs. 100 crore. Any additional voting equity capital to be brought in will depend on the business plan of the promoters. Further, the Payments Bank should have a net worth of Rs 100 crore at all times. The Payments Bank shall be required to maintain a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 15 per cent of its risk weighted assets (RWA) on a continuous basis, subject to any higher percentage as may be prescribed by RBI from time to time. However, as Payments Banks are not expected to deal with sophisticated products, the capital adequacy ratio will be computed under simplified Basel I standards.
As the Payments Bank will have almost zero or negligible risk weighted assets, its compliance with a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 15 per cent would not reflect the true risk. Therefore, as a backstop measure, the Payments Bank should have a leverage ratio of not less than 5 per cent, i.e., its outside liabilities should not exceed 20 times its net-worth / paid-up capital and reserves.
7. Promoter’s contribution
The promoter’s minimum initial contribution to the paid up voting equity capital of Payments Bank shall be at least 40 per cent which shall be locked in for a period of five years from the date of commencement of business of the bank. Shareholding by promoters in the bank in excess of 40 per cent shall be brought down to 40 per cent within three years from the date of commencement of business of the bank. Further, the promoter’s stake should be brought down to 30 per cent of the paid-up voting equity capital of the bank within a period of 10 years, and to 26 per cent within 12 years from the date of commencement of business of the bank. Proposals having diversified shareholding and a time frame for listing will be preferred.
8. Foreign shareholding
The foreign shareholding in the bank would be as per the extant FDI policy.
9. Voting rights and transfer/acquisition of shares
As per Section 12 (2) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the voting rights in private sector banks are capped at 10 per cent, which can be raised to 26 per cent in a phased manner by the RBI. Further, as per Section 12B of the Act ibid, any acquisition of 5 per cent or more of voting equity shares in a private sector bank will require prior approval of RBI. This will also apply to the Payments Banks.
10. Prudential norms
As the Payments Bank will not have loans and advances in its portfolio, it will not be exposed to credit risk and, the prudential norms and regulations of RBI as applicable to loans and advances, will therefore, not apply to it. However, the Payments Bank will be exposed to operational risk and should establish a robust operational risk management system. Further, it may face liquidity risk, and therefore is required to follow RBI’s guidelines on liquidity risk management, to the extent applicable.
11. Business plan
The applicants for Payments Bank licences will be required to furnish their business plans and project reports with their applications. The business plan will have to address how the bank proposes to achieve the objectives of setting up of Payments Banks. The business plan submitted by the applicant should be realistic and viable. Preference will be given to those applicants who propose to set up Payments Banks with access points primarily in the under-banked States / districts in the North-East, East and Central regions of the country. However, to be effective, the Payments Bank should ensure widespread network of access points particularly to remote areas, either through their own branch network or BCs or through networks provided by others. The bank is expected to adapt technological solutions to lower costs and extend its network. In case of deviation from the stated business plan after issue of licence, RBI may consider restricting the bank’s expansion, effecting change in management and imposing other penal measures as may be necessary.
12. Corporate governance
The Board of the Payments Bank should have a majority of independent Directors.
The bank should comply with the corporate governance guidelines including ‘fit and proper’ criteria for Directors as issued by RBI from time to time.
13. Other conditions
Entities other than the promoters will not be permitted to have shareholding in excess of 10 per cent of the voting equity capital of the bank.
The Payments Bank shall operate in remote areas mostly through BCs and other networks. Therefore, the requirement of opening at least 25 per cent of branches in unbanked rural centres (population up to 9,999 as per the latest census), is not stipulated for them. However, the Payments Bank will be required to have at least 25 per cent of access points in rural centres.
The operations of the bank should be fully networked and technology driven from the beginning.
The bank should have a high powered Customer Grievances Cell to handle customer complaints.
The compliance of terms and conditions laid down by RBI is an essential condition of grant of licence. Any non-compliance will attract penal measures including cancellation of licence of the bank.