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Banking Sector in India

January, 2013

Indian Banking Sector: Brief Introduction

Existence of an efficient banking system is paramount for achieving economic growth as banks are the mechanisms that channel the savings to investments. They have the capacity to promote economic growth as they allocate savings to those investments which have potential to yield higher returns.

With 86 scheduled commercial banks, 82 regional rural banks, 1,645 urban cooperative banks (53 scheduled cooperative banks) and 95,765 rural cooperative banks, India's banking system is a robust one and has proved its mettle by standing unaffected during the recent global financial turmoil.

Key Statistics

  • According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s 'Quarterly Statistics on Deposits and Credit of Scheduled Commercial Banks', March 2012, Nationalised Banks accounted for 53.0 per cent of the aggregate deposits, while the State Bank of India (SBI) and its Associates accounted for 21.8 per cent. The share of New Private Sector Banks, Old Private Sector Banks, Foreign Banks, and Regional Rural Banks in aggregate deposits was 13.0 per cent, 4.8 per cent, 4.4 per cent and 3.0 per cent, respectively
    Nationalised Banks accounted for the highest share of 52.0 per cent in gross bank credit followed by State Bank of India and its Associates (22.5 per cent) and New Private Sector Banks (13.5 per cent). Foreign Banks, Old Private Sector Banks and Regional Rural Banks had shares of around 4.8 per cent, 4.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively
  • Another statement issued by the RBI revealed that foreign exchange reserves stood at, US$ 294.99 billion for the week ended January 4, 2013 wherein the value of gold reserves was recorded at US$ 27.21 billion and that of foreign currency assets (FCAs) was at US$ 261.06 billion
    The value of special drawing rights (SDRs) was US$ 4.40 billion and the country's reserve position with the IMF was at US$ 2.30 billion
  • The number of mobile banking transactions in India has also increased by 6.39 per cent to 47, 20, 871 during November 2012, up from 44, 37, 205 recorded in October 2012, according to the RBI, wherein the total amount transacted showed a boost of 8.3 per cent

Recent Developments

  • In order to curb the risk of exchange rate volatility and ensure compatible relations among the banking systems of two countries, the Government of India (GoI) has directed state-run banks to encourage local currency payments for bilateral trade transactions. Under the proposed mechanism, Indian exporters will be allowed to issue invoices and receive payments in Indian rupees while payments for imports will be made by the partner country's bank in its local currency
  • The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has partnered with eight regional rural banks (RRBs) and urban co-operative banks in West Bengal. The scope of agreements includes training the staff of RRBs and co-operative banks in project appraisal, monitoring and collection as also providing free access to software on a down-scaling methodology developed for lending to micro enterprises
  • Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Deutsche Bank for using its cross-currency payment solution namely FX4Cash to offer cash management services across 125 local currencies in more than 160 countries. The move would facilitate streamlined automated process for forex dealing and payments to the bank
  • In a bid to double its business turnover in the next three years and thereby clock an annual growth rate of 25 per cent to 30 per cent, the Karnataka Bank Ltd has signed an MoU with management consultant KPMG for its business process re-engineering initiative, named as Project Tejas
  • Meanwhile, the Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM) has decided to open a representative office in Myanmar in order to increase the bilateral trade between the Northeast India and Myanmar. The opening of the trade link with Myanmar and transit facility with Bangladesh is expected to offer new opportunities for the organic agriculture produce of Northeast India