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Expert panel to screen bank licence applications soon

New Delhi, Aug 11, 2013, PTI :

The Reserve Bank of India will soon set up a high-level panel of eminent experts from the banking and financial sector to screen applications of 26 aspirants for new banking licences.

The High Level Advisory Committee (HLAC) will not have any members from the RBI but will comprise of eminent persons with experience in banking, financial sector and other relevant areas, sources said.

It is expected that the member of this panel would be drawn from other financial regulators like IRDA, Sebi and PFRDA. Besides, some top official from the government may also be invited to join the committee.

In the 2001 round of guidelines for the new licences, the then-HLAC members were C G Somiah former CAG, I G Patel, former RBI Governor and Dipankar Basu former head of State Bank of India.

RBI, sources said, is currently screening the prima facie eligibility of the applicants including ‘fit and proper’ criteria and other relevant parameters. As RBI is continuing its scrutiny process, there will be change of guard at the central bank with Raghuram Rajan taking over as 23rd Governor on September 5.

He will succeed the incumbent D Subbarao. After the screening applications by the RBI they will be referred to the high level panel for their scrutiny. The panel will have its own procedures for screening the applications.

The Committee will reserve the right to call for more information as well as have discussions with any applicants and seek clarification on any issue as may be required by it. The Committee will submit its recommendations to RBI for consideration.

However, the decision to issue an in-principle approval for setting up of a bank will be taken by RBI.


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