Banking and Financial Awareness – 58

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12 Jun, 2014

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Banking Awareness,


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1) RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi during May 2014 said that the RBI is proposing to permit opening of small bank accounts by merely filling up a form without any document for address or identity proof. This is being proposed in a bid to increase access to banking services. However, these proposed small accounts would come with some limitations. What are these limitations?

* These accounts will have limitations on credit/debit balances

Will be available only at core banking solution-enabled branches

No foreign remittances will be permitted

Will be available only for 12 months — further extension on application for officially valid document

The aggregate of all credits in a financial year cannot exceed Rs. 1 lakh

The aggregate of all withdrawals and transfers in a month cannot exceed Rs.10,000

The balance at any point in time should not exceed Rs.50,000

 

2) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 21 May 2014 eased gold import norms which were imposed during July 2013. This was done following representations from jewellers, bullion dealers, banks, and trade bodies. What’s the main provision announced under this? – Select trading houses, in addition to already permitted banks, have been allowed to import gold (The RBI in July last year had imposed severe restrictions on gold imports in order to check the burgeoning current account deficit and sliding rupee. Now Star trading houses/premier trading houses (STH/PTH) have been allowed to import gold under 20:80 gold import scheme)

 

3) Shares of state-run banks rose as much as 5% after an RBI panel report said that the Government should reduce the holdings in PSU lenders to below 50%. Who headed this panel? – PJ Nayak, ex-Chairman of Axis Bank (The report was released on 13 May 2014 and had mainly stated that Government should cut its holding in public sector banks to below 50%, criticising the way in which the lenders are being governed)

 

4) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put on hold its decision to make Aadhaar-based biometric authentication for transactions mandatory. The Supreme Court had earlier asked the government not to link Aadhaar with any social benefit schemes and subsidies. What was the main reason for this decision of the RBI? – Huge time taken for Aadhaar’s biometric authentication and high set up costs (In the testing phase, biometric authentication took up to 30 seconds even on 3G connections, as opposed to 5 seconds otherwise. Banks were also worried about huge set-up costs needed to enable the required infrastructure for biometric authentication)

 

5) What major relief was announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 7 May 2014 for takers of housing, auto and personal loans? – It directed all the commercial banks not to levy any penalty on pre-payment of loans under floating rate scheme that cover housing, auto as well as personal loans (The RBI advised that banks will not be permitted to charge foreclosure charges/ pre-payment penalties on all floating rate term loans sanctioned to individual borrowers, with immediate effect. Floating loan products include housing, corporate, vehicle and personal loans. Two years ago, RBI had barred banks from levying foreclosure charges or pre-payment penalties on home loans on floating interest rate basis)

 

6) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 6 May 2014 issued the guidelines allowing minors to operate bank accounts independently with a view to promote financial inclusion and bring uniformity in opening of such accounts in banks. What is the prescribed age for minors to operate bank accounts, as announced by the RBI in this guideline? – Above 10 years (According to the guidelines issued by the RBI, minors above 10 years of age can open and operate independently savings bank account and use other facilities like ATM and cheque books)

 

7) A high-level committee recommended recasting of the Index of Industrial Production and (IIP) Wholesale Price Index (WPI) with an objective to present a more realistic picture of the economy. Who is heading this high-level committee which recently submitted its report? – Saumitra Chaudhuri, Member, Planning Commission and Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (The committee submitted its report on the IIP and WPI during last week of April 2014. The whole exercise of recasting these indexes was aimed at making the indices reflect each other)

 

8) Which country was ranked as the cheapest among the major world economies in a latest report by Germany’s Deutsche Bank? – India (According to this recently released report India is the cheapest major economy on the basis of prices of products comparable across countries. The report claimed that a weaker rupee has allowed India to remain the cheapest major economy despite the highest inflation. Australia was ranked as the most expensive major economy while the United States was ranked as the cheapest developed country. Brazil was again listed as the most expensive among developing countries)

 

9) IPL franchisee Delhi Daredevils during May 2014 launched a co-branded cricket credit card in partnership with which commercial bank? – The Ratnakar Bank Ltd(This was the first time that a commercial bank and a leading cricket franchise came together to launch a co-branded cricket credit card. The card brings to its cardholders exclusive privileges like meeting and greeting the Delhi Daredevils team, personal and original memorabilia, coaching camps, free match tickets, talk shows, etc.)

 

10) The iconic Ambassador car of India is almost on its way to become history as its owner company the C.K. Birla Group-promoted Hindustan Motors (HM) on 24 May 2014 suspended work at its oldest factory near Kolkota. Where is this famous factory situated? – Uttarpara (The work was suspended due to almost negligible demand for Ambassador car, which was once the lifeline of whole India. Around 2,500 workers working in the Uttarpara plant are facing the risk of losing their jobs. Ambassador was the first car to be completely made in India some 6 decades back)

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