Telecom-to-energy conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL) and India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) have signed Subscription and Shareholders’ Agreement to set up payments bank.
As per the agreement, RIL will be the promoter with a 70 per cent equity contribution in the payments bank and SBI as joint venture will have 30 per cent equity contribution.
- RIL-SBI combine was among the 11 entities that were in August 2015 were given licence by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start a payments bank.
- So far two of these – Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Co and Sun Pharma, IDFC Bank and telecom operator Telenor have decided to shelve plans of launching payments bank.
About Payments banks
- Payments banks are small deposit-taking institutions that can accept deposits (initially up to 1 lakh rupees per individual).
- Besides, they will offer Internet banking, facilitate money transfers and sell insurance and mutual funds by piggy-backing on existing retail or other networks.
- They can also issue ATM/debit cards, but not credit cards. However, they are also not allowed to lend. Instead, they can invest 75% of their deposits in short-term government bonds.