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Sebi, Irda views on holding co structure to be final: RBI

By Super
Sebi, Irda views on holding co structure to be final: RBI
Faced with queries on regulatory overlap from potential new bank applicants, the Reserve Bank today said that while it has prescribed the "preferred structure", the views of its counterparts Sebi and Irda "will prevail" on any vexed issue. In its clarifications on the new bank licensing norms, the central bank said it has held discussions with capital markets regulator Sebi and insurance watchdog Irda over the issues and have them on board on the new stipulations for new bank holding companies.

"Queries were raised on adherence to different sector specific requirements. Such issues were examined in consultation with Sebi and Irda," the Reserve Bank said, adding that any specific views expressed by these regulators would be prevail. RBI's insistence on having a non-operating financial holding company, which will have all the financial interests of the promoter group under it, is a core issue. An applicant having an interest in the insurance sector cited Irda statutes, which say promoter of an insurance company cannot be a subsidiary of another company, while the Reserve Bank wants the NOFHC (non-operative financial holding company) to have all the financial interests of the promoter group under this arm. "The general principle is that the regulated financial services sector entities in which a promoter group has 'significant influence' or 'control' will be held under the NOFHC. While this is a preferred structure, these requirements are subject to the regulations of the respective regulators (Irda)," the RBI said.

"The applicants may approach Irda in this regard. The decision of Irda will prevail," it added. Similarly, another applicant sought clarity citing Sebi norms which require that an AMC be held by a Sebi registered entity alone, while the RBI would want it to come under the NOFHC which would be overseen by the central bank. "The matter has been examined in consultation with Sebi. The applicants may approach Sebi in this regard, and the decision of Sebi will prevail," the RBI clarification said. A slew of groups already in the financial services space, including L&T Finance, have shown interest in applying for a banking license.


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