RBI tightens bulk deposit rules

The Reserve Bank of India has tightened the rules of offering differential interest rates on large size term deposits, or bulk deposits, and also said banks can stop all types of bulk depositors from premature withdrawal of their money.

Banks can charge different rates of interest only on bulk deposits of above Rs 1 crore, higher than previous limit of Rs 15 lakh, the RBI said in a circular on Thursday. "For deposits below Rs 1 crore, the same rate will apply for deposits of the same maturity," the RBI said. Most banks, except SBI, have been offering higher interest rates on bulk deposits to retain their deposit base. The RBI said banks can disallow premature withdrawal of deposits of over Rs 1 crore.

"...banks will have the discretion to disallow premature withdrawal of a term deposit in respect of bulk deposits of Rs 1 crore and above of all depositors, including individuals and HUFs. Bank should, however, notify its policy of disallowing premature withdrawal in advance," the RBI said.

In a related development, an expert committee constituted by the RBI to review the existing short-term cooperative credit structure has said that about 209 of the 370 central co-operative banks (CCB) would require additional capital up to Rs 6,500 crore to attain 9 per cent Capital to Risk Assets Ratio (CRAR) by 2016-17.

The panel said 238 of the 370 CCBs already have CRAR of 7 per cent or above, and about two-thirds of them would be able meet the target through internal resources.

...raises FII limit in G-Secs, corporate bonds by $5 billion

The Reserve Bank of India has hiked FII investment limits in government securities and corporate bonds by $5 billion each, taking the total cap in domestic debt to $75 billion.

Further liberalising the norms, the three-year lock-in period for foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchasing government securities (G-Secs) for the first time has been done away with, the RBI said. The sub-limit of $10 billion for investment by FIIs and long-term investors in G-Secs stands enhanced by $5 billion, it said. The limit in corporate debt, other than infrastructure sector, stands enhanced from $20 billion to $25 billion, the RBI said.

... contd.

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