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Banking

Never dispense with your debit/credit card PIN: RBI

Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made it compulsory for debit and credit card holders to key in the Personal Identification Number (PIN) while making transactions at retail outlets across the country. While the guideline is followed to curb frauds, cardholders still have a lot of doubt and fear about possible misuse of their cards. Many cases of fraud have happened as many people reveal the recently-obtained PINs, either in good faith or out of ignorance. Earlier, it was easier for fraudsters to create counterfeit cards with magnetic strips, or embed details on stolen cards and misuse them.  But now the number of such frauds is likely to decrease as several banks have begun issuing of cards with embedded chips. Besides, if a cardholder enters the wrong PIN three times, the card gets blocked for a day. Banks have also started to provide wireless swiping machines — Electronic Data Capture (EDC) machines.

RBI’s advice to cardholders for a safer transaction:

  • While there are no norms against merchants seeking the PIN from customers, it is the right of the customers to key in the PIN themselves.
  • Customers should go where the EDC machine is kept and key in the PIN on their own for a safer transaction.
  • They should cover the keypad while keying in the PIN, both inside the ATM and while using EDC machines.
  • Customers should register their mobile numbers with their banks to get an intimation of the transaction as soon as the card is swiped.
  • Customers should keep changing their PIN every 3 months to prevent cyber fraud.
  • RBI is also collaborating with various banks to hold electronic banking awareness and training (e-Baat) programmes.

ICICI Bank leaves behind HDFC Bank as biggest private bank employer

ICICI Bank has overtaken its competitor HDFC in terms of employee number with addition of over 10,000 jobs in the last fiscal. With this, ICICI has emerged as the biggest employer in the private banking space with more than 72,000 employees.
Except HDFC, the employee strength of other five lenders – ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank and Yes Bank has increased by over 20,000 in 2013-14. ICICI Bank has also recorded higher total income and profits than HDFC Bank in the latest fiscal year. The number of employees in HDFC Bank was 68,165 at the end of last fiscal, while the same of ICICI Bank expanded by 10,161 to 72,226.

With the increase in staff strength, the staff expenses have also surged. But, at the same time, the Productivity Ratios – measured in terms of profit per employee and business per employee have also improved for most of these banks. Even for HDFC Bank, regardless of the reduction in its employee strength, profit per employee enhanced from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh in 2013-14, while business per employee was up at Rs 8.9 crore (compared to Rs 7.5 crore in 2012-13). For ICICI Bank, profit per employee has remained nearly unchanged at Rs 14 lakh, while business per employee increased slightly to Rs 7.47 crore.

RBI’s second Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2014-15

Monetary and Liquidity Measures

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, RBI has been decided the following key rates:

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  • RR (Reverse Repo Rate)
  • RRR (Reverse Repo Rate)
  • LAF (Liquidity Adjustment Facility)
  • CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio)
  • SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio)
  • NDTL (Net Demand and Time Liabilities)
  • ECR (Export Credit Refiance)

RBI tightens merger rules for NBFCs

According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) to take its prior approval before buying shares of other NBFCs or for merger and acquisition with another entity.

This rule will be applicable to both deposit taking and non-deposit accepting companies and any infringement of it may cost the company its registration.

Prior written clearance of RBI would also be mandatory before approaching the Court or Tribunal seeking order for mergers or amalgamations with other companies or NBFCs.

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