RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, India

India's Reliance Capital gears up for banking business

Reliance Capital, the financial services arm of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, announced its full preparedness to foray into the banking business.

"We are ready. We have been working on this for quite some time... for about one and half years," said Reliance Capital CEO Sam Ghosh.

He said that final regulatory framework is yet to come on this front, but Reliance Capital was certainly fully prepared on its part.

"We are ready to the extent of the current scenario and once the final guidelines come up, we will be in a better position to understand the situation," he said.

Ghosh noted that the country has an estimated 200 million bank accounts, while there are about 600 million mobile customers.

"So, there is clearly a big gap and there is a need to take banking to a larger number of people," he said.

Reliance Capital has been one of the major aspirants of the new banking licences to be granted by the Reserve Bank.

While the process of granting new banking licences have been underway for quite some time, the government has recently indicated that a framework could be put in place soon for allowing new players in this business.

The RBI had issued draft guidelines in August 2011 for issuance of new banking licences, while in July 2012 it  released the comments and suggestions received by it.

Along with Reliance Capital, a number of other private players including Religare, L&T and Shriram are eyeing a banking licence for a long time.

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