The Central bank has received 26 applications including those from Tata Capital, Reliance Capital, the Birlas, L&T Finance, Bajaj group and India Post.

Ruling out relaxation in norms for grant of new bank licences, the Reserve Bank on Monday said though it has started the scrutiny of applications, the exercise will take some time.

“We have started the scrutiny of applications. It is quite an extensive work because now we are looking at corporate groups. The workload is quite heavy in that sense,” Deputy Governor Anand Sinha, in-charge of banking supervision, told reporters here on the sidelines of a Ficci event.

Mr. Sinha also said the RBI will be setting up an external scrutiny panel after the internal scrutiny is over.

“Banking licence applicants have been given a transition period. We expect all applicants to comply with all that requirements,” Mr. Sinha said, ruling out any relaxation of norms that require, among other things, net worth of Rs 500 crore and a holding company (of the proposed bank) that is unlisted and non-operative in a financial sense (NOHFC).

The Central bank has received 26 applications including those from Tata Capital, Reliance Capital, the Birlas, L&T Finance, Bajaj group and India Post.

Considering that Governor D Subbarao has only 30 days before he retires, it is almost certain that he will not take any call on the new bank licence front.

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