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October 22, 2001
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RBI to process universal bank applications

The RBI said on Monday that it was ready to process applications from financial institutions to convert themselves into one-stop universal banks.

"In processing a specific proposal, the overwhelming consideration...will be to meet the strategic objectives of the concerned financial institution for meeting the varied needs of different categories of customers," the central bank said in its mid-year review of monetary policy.

The RBI added that universal banks will have to ensure healthy competition in the financial system through transparent and equitable regulatory framework applicable to all the participants in the banking business.

"While taking a flexible view on each application, the Reserve Bank will pay particular attention to the primary need to ensure safety of public deposits, especially of small depositors, and to promote the continued stability of the financial system as a whole," the policy statement added.

Financial services firm ICICI and state-run term lender Industrial

Development Bank of India have showed interest to convert themselves

into one-stop financial powerhouses offering an array of services.

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