India sets rules for new bank permits in rural push
MUMBAI (AFP) - India on Friday unveiled rules for issuing new bank licences in a push to expand financial services into the country's rural hinterland where hundreds of thousands of villages have no banking outlets.
Ninety per cent of India's 600,000 villages do not have banking facilities, the Reserve Bank of India says, while fewer than half of the country's 1.2 billion people have a bank account.
Private companies, public-sector groups and non-banking financial firms will be eligible to apply for licences for new banks by setting up financial holding companies, the central bank said in a statement.
Groups seeking to set up a bank "should have a past record of sound credentials and integrity, be financially sound with a successful track record of 10 years", the Reserve Bank said.