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5 things that impacted the country's banking sector

By Nupur Anand
December 31, 2014 09:05 IST
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The year 2014 saw loan growth coming down to 10.8 per cent compared to 14.9 per cent during the same period last year.

A bankThe year 2014 was marked by slowing credit and deposit growth, amid further rise in non-performing assets, which put pressure on banks' profitability.

The banking industry also saw two new entities getting universal bank licences, after a gap of more than a decade. 

Here is a look at five factors that defined the banking industry in the year gone by.

Worst year for loans since 1997: The year 2014 saw loan growth coming down to 10.8 per cent compared to 14.9 per cent during the same period last year, according to latest data available.

According to Bloomberg data, 1997 was the year when credit growth fared worst in the last 18 years by growing at 9.94 per cent.

High interest rate, policy uncertainty in the year of elections, along with risk aversion led to slow takeoff in credit demand on the corporate front.

On the retail front also, loan takeoff hasn’t been encouraging.

During the festival season this year, car sales dropped whereas housing inventory shot up, signalling poor demand.

New banks and new types of banks: After more than a decade, RBI issued bank licences to IDBI and Bandhan out of the 25 applicants.

The regulator has granted an ‘in-principle’ approval to the two, which will be valid for 18 months.

The two entities are expected to begin operations before October 1, 2015.

Apart from issuing universal banking licence, the regulator has also issued final guidelines for payment and small banks in a bid to deepen financial inclusion. 

It has allowed even corporate houses, including telecom players and retail chains, to set up payment banks, and has also given them the option of forming joint ventures with commercial banks.

RBI has asked interested parties to apply by January 16, 2015.

PSB CMD appointment cancelled: Narendra Modi-led government cancelled the selection of eight public sector bank chiefs that was made under the United Progressive Alliance regime.

This move came after S K Jain, former chairman and MD of Syndicate Bank, was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation over corruption charges.

Jan Dhan Yojana: The Modi government embarked on an ambitious financial inclusion plan under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.

As per the latest data, the Yojana has so far been able to register 87.6 million accounts and has issued 57.8 million RuPay cards.

However, a majority of these accounts don’t have balance in it.

Pay to use your home bank ATMs: From November, RBI has permitted banks to charge their customers for using automated teller machines beyond five transactions a month.

Several lenders such as State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank have levied charges for ATM usage after first five transactions.

Free transaction at other banks ATMs has also been reduced from five to three by several lenders.

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Nupur Anand in Mumbai
Source: source

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