Tuesday, April 20

Finance

HC raps IRDAI for turning blind eye to non-implementation of Mental Healthcare law

HC raps IRDAI for turning blind eye to non-implementation of Mental Healthcare law

Finance
The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up insurance regulator IRDAI for "turning a blind eye" towards non-implementation of Mental Healthcare Act by insurance companies, saying the day was not far when action will be taken against it. Justice Prathiba M Singh said that the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) was supposed to supervise the insurance companies and ensure they comply with the law. "(I am) clearly getting the feeling that IRDAI is not taking action against insurance companies and only taking steps once court issues notice," Justice Singh said. "It is very unfair what is going on. IRDAI cannot become blind to what is happening. You (IRDAI) cannot be blind," the court said and added "the day is not far when action will have to be taken against IRDAI"...
Muthoot MD shines a light on how gold loan business works, with Covid as a backdrop

Muthoot MD shines a light on how gold loan business works, with Covid as a backdrop

Finance
George Alexander, MD, explains why lockdowns didn't land any noticeable blow on the gold loan business, with special focus on his company. Edited excerpts: ET Now: What is the outlook on demand for gold loans, given the cash crunch people might be facing during these lockdowns? George Alexander: Many people including some of our employees have got Covid, but otherwise footfalls etc. have not seen any drastic reduction. Gold loan is a business where customers need to come to the branch to take the loan. Customers have to come to the branch to bring the gold and also to get back their gold. That is still happening despite Covid. We are of course seeing more people using the online way now instead of the physical process. They are going online to pay the interest as well as part of capita...
HDB Financial Services reports 17% drop in net profit in March quarter

HDB Financial Services reports 17% drop in net profit in March quarter

Finance
HDB Financial Services (HDB) the non-banking finance company (NBFC) subsidiary of HDFC Bank reported a 17% drop in net profit in the quarter ended March 2021 due to higher provisions indicating the challenging economic environment facing the company which focuses on the risky unsecured personal loans, new to credit loans consumer durable loans, used car loans, credit card balance transfer and loans to small enterprises. Net profit fell to Rs 285 crore in March 2021 from Rs 342 crore a year ago due to a rise in provisions. Total provisions increased to Rs 613 crore from Rs 393 crore a year earlier. TheThe challenging macro economic environment was also reflected in HDFC Bank's results which though registering a 18% growth in net profit, reported check an increase in cheque bounce rates in ...
Why do so many MNC banks give up pursuit of retail El Dorado in India?

Why do so many MNC banks give up pursuit of retail El Dorado in India?

Finance
(This story originally appeared in on Apr 17, 2021)Mumbai: For decades, multinational banks have sought to tap the continent-sized Indian market. Unlike other multinational entities, banks are not able to sweep the market as authorities in India and elsewhere grant branch licences very judiciously. Yet, over half a dozen multinational banks have pumped in billions of dollars to grow their retail business across India, only to sell them and exit in the last two decades (see graphic). It started with ANZ Grindlays, then the largest foreign bank in India. ANZ Grindlays, which was to banking what Hindustan Lever was to FMCG, sold its business to StanChart and exited the country in 2000. A few years later in 2007, ABN Amro, which had acquired Bank of America’s retail business in 1998, sold
HDFC Bank takes conservative stance, hikes provisions, conserves capital

HDFC Bank takes conservative stance, hikes provisions, conserves capital

Finance
HDFC Bank has refrained from declaring an annual dividend for shareholders for the second consecutive year as it chose to conserve capital due to the heightened uncertainties of the Covid 19 pandemic. "The board ...has considered it prudent to currently not propose dividend for the financial year ended March 31 2021. The board shall reassess the position based on any further guidelines from the RBI in this regard," HDFC Bank said. Last fiscal the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had barred banks from declaring dividend in order to conserve capital due to heightened economic risks posed by Covid 19. Taking a conservative stance in its accounting the bank also hiked total provisions to ensure it has enough buffer to manage an adverse economic environment in the near future. Total provision incre...
MFIs better prepared to deal with disruptions due to rising COVID-19 cases: MFIN CEO

MFIs better prepared to deal with disruptions due to rising COVID-19 cases: MFIN CEO

Finance
The microfinance sector is unlikely to face major challenges from the second wave of COVID-19 and is well prepared to face any disruption, Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) CEO Alok Misra said. Over the past year, microfinance institutions (MFIs) have streamlined their processes, trained field staff on COVID-appropriate behaviour and in dealing with lockdowns, and focussed on digitisation, and these steps will help them in managing any kind of situation, he added. "In the last one year, training, involvement of senior-level people at the ground level and digital content have ensured that the (MFI) sector is far better prepared (now) than when it (COVID-19) hit us last year," Misra noted. Till the time the pandemic continues, there will be local level lockdowns that would create med...
WIMWIsure conducts two lakh passenger, commercial vehicles’ inspections remotely in FY21

WIMWIsure conducts two lakh passenger, commercial vehicles’ inspections remotely in FY21

Finance
WIMWIsure, AI-enabled insurance service platform for on-demand inspection of insurable assets, on Friday said the company conducted over 2 lakh virtual inspections of passenger and commercial vehicles in the financial year ended March 2021 and also turned profitable during the year. The Indian motor insurance marketplace has noted a clear shift towards remote 'Do-It-Yourself' checks and inspection-as-a-service because of COVID-19 which has necessitated moving away from physical vehicle inspections, WIMWIsure said in a release. "During the lockdown, Insurtech WIMWIsure has conducted more than 2 lakh virtual inspections for passenger and commercial vehicles through its on-demand artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled video inspection platform in the financial year 2020-21," it said. The nea...
Former Citibanker, top executive from Bharti Enterprise are among banking license applicants

Former Citibanker, top executive from Bharti Enterprise are among banking license applicants

Finance
Former Citibanker Pankaj Vaish and Bharti Enterprises vice-chairman Akhil Kumar Gupta are believed to be among the applicants for universal bank and small finance bank licenses. Reserve Bank of India on Thursday released a list of four applicants each for both categories. The list includes the names of Vaish and Gupta while the central bank did not specify their details. UAE Exchange & Financial Services, The Repco Bank and Chaitanya India Fin Credit are also on the list for universal banking license applicants, RBI said. UAE Exchange was the first to apply for the license way back in 2017 when RBI made the process on-tap. On the other hand, VSoft Technologies, Calicut City Service Co-operative Bank and Dvara Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services have applied for a small finance bank li...
Piramal Housing to extend loans to low-income groups across the country

Piramal Housing to extend loans to low-income groups across the country

Finance
Piramal Housing Finance that's shedding its overweight on builder loans is taking baby steps to become a financial conglomerate, a versatile retail lending platform that would lend to build small sized homes to buy a motorcycle leveraging on its recent tie ups with tech startups. Its newly built technology platform could be plugged into any digital platform and do data analytics in house to gain an edge over the peers most of which are still with legacy systems, said Piramal retail finance CEO Jairam Sridharan. “We should have another 10-20 partnership with fintechs next one year through the merged entity ( and Piramal Housing),” Jairam Sridharan, Chief Executive Officer, Piramal Retail Finance told ET. At least five-six partnerships that Piramal is in talks with for new businesses like e
Religare Finvest to default on Rs 100 crore NCD payment obligation

Religare Finvest to default on Rs 100 crore NCD payment obligation

Finance
on Wednesday said its arm Religare Finvest Limited will default on Rs 100 crore NCD payment obligation later this month to subscriber due to financial distress caused by misappropriation of funds by former promoters and officials. NBFC firm Religare Finvest Limited (RFL) had borrowed Rs 100 crore from Axis Bank by placing non-convertible debentures (NCDs) on a private placement basis in September 2015. The bonds, bearing a coupon of 10.68 per cent per annum, are set for maturity on April 30, 2021, Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) said in a regulatory filing. Due to the issues emanating from siphoning and misappropriation of funds by erstwhile promoters and their associates, RFL has been put under corrective action plan by the RBI since January 18, 2018, it added. The company has been i...