• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched two innovative customer-centric initiatives of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). (1) RBI Retail Direct Scheme and (2) the Reserve Bank- Integrated Ombudsman Scheme. There will be a single point of reference for customers to file their complaints, submit the documents, track status, and provide feedback.
  • The RBI has launched its first global hackathon named “HARBINGER 2021 – Innovation for Transformation”. The theme of HARBINGER 2021 is ‘Smarter Digital Payments’. The Hackathon invites participants to identify and develop solutions to make digital payments accessible to the under-served, enhance the ease of payments and user experience while strengthening the security of digital payments and promote customer protection.
  • RBI has announced to introduce the Internal Ombudsman mechanism for the following two types of Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs). These two types of NBFCs are Deposit-taking NBFCs (NBFCs-D) with 10 or more branches and Non-Deposit taking NBFCs (NBFCsND) with asset size of Rs.5,000 crore and above having public customer interface.
  • RBI has imposed strict restrictions on business activities on Maharashtra-based Babaji Date Mahila Sahakari Bank including imposing a withdrawal limit of Rs 5,000 for depositors. The bank cannot issue new loans or accept fresh deposits.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs.1 crore on the State Bank of India (SBI), for violating subsection (2) of section 19 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. SBI held shares in the borrower companies of an amount exceeding 30 per cent of the paid-up share capital of those companies.
  • The Federal Bank and Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Limited (ABHICL) entered into a Bancassurance Partnership. As a part of this alliance, Federal Bank will provide to its customer’s innovative health insurance solutions offered by ABHICL.
  • Yes Bank and together launched a Co-Branded credit card named FinBooster to measure the Creditworthiness of the customers. FinBooster is built around a credit fitness tracker. FinBooster uses the CreditStrong app Subscription (credit fitness report) which helps customers to track creditworthiness that improves the Credit score.
  • Bandhan Bank has been appointed as an Agency Bank by the Reserve Bank of India to conduct government business. Bandhan Bank now joins several other private banks that have been empanelled as an Agency Bank of the RBI. These institutions are authorized to handle transactions related to GST, VAT and the collection of state taxes.
  • Axis Bank signed an MoU with the Indian Navy to offer a defense service salary package under ‘’Power Salute’’ at New Delhi. The bank will provide several benefits to all ranks of Indian Navy veterans and cadets.
  • The State Bank of India has launched a video life certificate service for pensioners (other than family pensioners). Thus, the spouse of the pensioner receiving a pension from the government will not be able to use this facility. It will facilitate pensioners to submit their life certificates via video from their homes.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has lifted restrictions imposed on 23rd April 2021 with immediate effect on credit card issuer Diners Club International Ltd to onboard new customers. RBI restricted Diners Club International Ltd. from onboarding new domestic customers onto its card network from May 1, 2021, due to non-compliance with RBI on the storage of Payment System Data.
  • Unity Small Finance Bank, the joint venture between Centrum Group and Bharatpe has commenced operations as a small finance bank.
  • Indian Bank has launched the Video KYC (know your customer) facility, which allows an applicant to open an account from anywhere by incorporating its Video-Based Customer Identification Process (VCIP) technology, on its web-based platforms. The initiative will remove burden of personal visit to any branch of the bank to complete the physical verification.
  • HDFC Bank Ltd has launched the second edition of its “Mooh Band Rakho” campaign to raise awareness on fraud prevention in support of International Fraud Awareness Week 2021 (November 14-20, 2021).
  • The total corpus of Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) of RBI has reached Rs.614 crore. The PIDF scheme was launched by RBI in January 2021, to subsidize deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure (PoS) in Tier-3 to Tier-6 centres with a special focus on the NorthEastern States of the country.
  • Recently RBL Bank is also authorized by RBI to collect direct taxes on behalf of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) based on a recommendation from the Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance and Government of India.
  • ICICI Bank has launched an online platform called ‘Trade Emerge’ for Indian exporters and importers to offer them digital banking and value-added services. The cross border trade will become hassle-free, expeditious and convenient with Trade Emerge because an array of services are being offered in one place so companies will not require to coordinate with multiple touch points.
  • For amalgamating of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank with the Delhi-based Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd (USFB), RBI has formulated draft. Unity Small Finance Bank is a joint venture between Centrum Group and Bharatpe and operationalized as a small finance bank with effect from November 1, 2021.
  • Equitas Small Finance Bank (SFB) partnered with HDFC (Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited) Bank to launch its new cobranded credit cards to provide its customers a better banking ecosystem.
  • HSBC India has launched India’s 1st credit card made from recycled PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) plastic. The cards have been introduced in partnership with global cards manufacturer IDEMIA to gradually eliminate single-use PVC plastic. The cards is consists of 85% recycled plastic and each card will save 3.18gm of plastic waste in addition to helping lower overall carbon emission.

Economy Current Affairs

  • Gross Goods and service tax (GST) collection for the month of October is Rs.1, 30,127 crore, the second-highest collection. The highest-ever GST collection was Rs.1.41 lakh crore recorded in April 2021.
  • Domestic credit rating agency Brickwork Ratings has estimated the gross domestic product (GDP) of India at 10-10.5% in the current financial year (2021-22. Earlier this was estimated at 9 per cent.
  • The retail inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), slightly rose to 4.48% in October. Food inflation picked up to 0.85% in October from 0.68% a month ago with a rise in prices of vegetables.
  • The RBI has projected the CPI inflation at 5.3% for 2021-22. According to MoSPI data, inflation in the food basket rose to 0.85% in October, compared to 0.68% in the preceding month.
  • The Swiss brokerage firm, UBS Securities has revised India’s real GDP growth projection for 2021- 22 to 9.5% from 8.5% estimated earlier. The upward revision has been attributed to faster-than-expected recovery, rising consumer confidence and the resultant spending spike.
  • Wall Street brokerage, Goldman Sachs in its recent Macro Outlook 2022 note revised upward its projection for the gross domestic product (GDP) to 9.1%, from the earlier estimate of 8% for the calendar year 2022.
  • The meeting of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) members was held in New Delhi to examine the Indian economic growth in 2022-23 and further. EACPM members projected India’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 7-7.5% and a nominal rate of growth of more than 11% in FY23. They also projected growth of 5% in the current fiscal year (FY22) from a record contraction of 7.3% (-7.3%) in FY21.
  • Moody’s Investors Service in its latest report has projected that the economic growth in India will rebound strongly. It has pegged GDP growth for the nation at 9.3% and 7.9% in FY22 and FY23, respectively.

Business Current Affairs

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 250 million (about Rs. 1,875 crore) loan to support India’s National Industrial Corridor Development Program (NICDP). This is the first subprogram of the programmatic USD 500 million loans to develop 11 industrial corridors spanning 17 states.
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $1.5 billion loan (approx Rs 11,185 crore) to help the Government of India to purchase safe and effective vaccines against the coronavirus (COVID-19). The fund will be used to procure COVID-19 vaccine for an estimated 31.7 crore people of the country. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is expected to co-finance an additional USD 500 million for the project.
  • The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) has launched a ‘Whistleblower Portal’ as a part of the celebration of ‘Vigilance Awareness Week 2021’. The portal was launched by Shri Pradip Kumar Das, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), IREDA on November 02, 2021.
  • NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog and the World Bank (WB) are working together to facilitate a program for faster and easier financing of electric vehicles (EVs). NITI Aayog and World Bank are setting up a $300- million ‘first loss risk sharing instrument’, with the State Bank of India as its program manager. The current rate of interest for electric two-wheelers & electric 3 Wheelers, which is in the range of 20-25%, is expected to be reduced to 10-12 per cent.
  • Ministry of Finance has approved the interest rate on employees’ provident fund (EPF) deposits for 2020-21 at 5%. The rate has been kept unchanged as for the year 2019-20. EPF is one fixed-income instrument that is completely tax-free under the exempt-exempt-exempt (EEE) regime, along with PPF and the Sukanya Samriddhi Account. Now the labour ministry will notify the interest rate for it to come into effect.
  • Junio (Children-focussed fintech) has launched a smart multipurpose card for pre-teens and teenagers on the RuPay platform. Junio Smart Card will allow youngsters to make online & offline payments with ease. The card can function as a debit card for both their online and offline purchases. Kids and parents can sign up on the Junio app, and use virtual Junio smart cards with zero annual charges.
  • NPCI Bharat BillPay Ltd., the wholly-owned subsidiary of National Payments Corporation of India has tied up with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance to provide its marquee offering – ClickPay to the insurer’s customers. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is the first insurance company to offer this facility of ClickPay to its customers empowering them to make renewal premium payments with ease.
  • Digital Payment firm, PhonePe has launched a tokenization solution named ‘SafeCard’ for online debit and credit card transactions.
  • BharatPe launched the World’s 1st Merchant Shareholding Program (MSP) for its merchant partners. It is a $100 million worth program, under which the company offers its merchant customers an opportunity to buy BharatPe’s equity shares and become a partner.
  • Paytm Money, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Paytm, has launched ‘Voice Trading’, powered by artificial intelligence (AI). So, users can place a trade or get information about stocks via single voice command. This service has been launched in line with Paytm Money’sefforts to offer next-gen and AI-driven tech to elevate user experience.
  • HDFC Ergo was the first insurer to launch a drone insurance cover in June 2020, followed by ICICI Lombard in August 2021, and Tata AIG last month.
  • RBI has given its approval to Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to raise its stake in private lender Kotak Mahindra Bank to 99%. Currently, LIC holds 4.96% stake in the private lender.

Read also…
Banking & Financial Current Affairs August 2021


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *