Month: May 2013

ICICI Bank to offer Money2India app for NRIs

Mumbai, May 9:  Business Line

ICICI Bank will offer Money2India mobile application for non-resident Indians (NRIs) to track their money transfers to India.

The application enables the bank’s registered users to avail themselves of the money transfer tracking service through their smartphones.

The application can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for iPhones and iPads, Android Marketplace and Windows 8 Store across five countries namely the US, Canada, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong, the bank said in a statement.

Online registration

To use this service, users need to complete a simple one-time online registration at Money2India.com and can avail themselves of the online service for tracking money transfers from any bank in eight countries –— US, Canada, UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and UAE — to any account with over 100 banks in India.

“Customers or NRIs can now easily track exchange rates, status of their money transfer requests and place new requests for tracking from their mobile phones,” an ICICI Bank spokesperson said.

With over a million registered user base, it is a preferred online service for tracking money transfers to India with round-the-clock customer service availability, the bank said.

Bank loans may not get cheaper soon

By Atmadip Ray, ET Bureau | 3 May, 2013

KOLKATA: Consumer loans may not get cheaper immediately despite a repo rate cut since banks continued to pay high to depositors to improve a modest collection.

Top bankers said that RBI’s growth direction with repo rate cut has pleased them but the absence of a cut in cash reserve ratio will not allow them to cut lending rates across the spectrum. A reduction in the reserve ratio would have released funds for banks to lend without looking for deposit mobilisation at a high price. Banks are forced to keep rates high to overcome a slow deposit growth.

“A mere repo rate cut will not help us in terms of lowering of lending rates,” Punjab National Bank chairman and managing director KR Kamath said. “One can’t go for drastic reduction of deposit rates as mobilisation has been sluggish. The issue is when it is going to be the right time for a deposit rate cut. Till such time, it will be difficult to reduce lending rates across the board.”

RBI said its assessment of the growth-inflation dynamic does not allow further monetary easing. However, the central bank governor D Subbarao assured banks that it will to actively manage liquidity to reinforce monetary transmission, consistent with the growth-inflation balance.

“The call in reduction in base rate may be taken over a period of time and would depend upon, how the deposit rates move,” Corporation Bank chief Ajai Kumar said. “In the present scenario where deposit mobilisation is still not picking up, it would be too early to comment on lending rate cut.”

A 25 basis point cut in repo rate, the rate at which RBI lends to bank, will reduce the cost of fund only for borrower banks. But banks which park their excess fund with the central bank will now earn 25 basis point less as reverse repo rate has been lowered by similar extent.

Uco Bank chief Arun Kaul said that cutting rates would depend upon cost of funds and how much it comes down in the near future. These lenders said they will try to adjust rates for some selective sectors with strong growth links.

“We need to do a fine balancing act for lowering lending rates for small sectors,” United Bank of India chairperson and managing director Archana Bhargava said.

No loan against gold coins weighing above 50 grams, proposes RBI

NEW DELHI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed that banks restrict the facility of advancing loan against gold coins to a maximum weight of 50 grams. This move, implemented would imply that a customer cannot avail loans against gold coins that weigh more than 50 grams.

As per extant instructions, banks are currently permitted to grant advances against gold ornaments and other jewellery and against specially minted gold coins sold by banks. However, no advances can be granted by banks for purchase of gold in any form, including primary gold, gold bullion, gold jewellery, gold coins, units of gold exchange traded funds and units of gold mutual funds.

“While there may not be any objection to grant of advances against specially minted gold coins sold by banks, there is a risk that some of these coins would be weighing much more, thereby circumventing the Reserve Bank’s guidelines regarding restrictions on grant of advance against gold bullion,” the bank said.

Accordingly the bank has proposed to restrict the facility of advances against the security of gold coins per customer to gold coins weighing up to 50 grams.

The detailed guidelines for the same will be issued by end-May 2013.

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