The Reserve Bank of India released names of eight entities that had put in an application for either a universal bank or a small finance bank (SFB) licence. Sachin Bansal’s Chaitanya India Finance, former Citibanker Pankaj Vaish and Akhil Kumar Gupta are among the applicants for a bank licence.
Chaitanya India has earlier announced its intent to pursue a banking licence. Non-bank lender UAE Exchange had first applied in 2017 when it was still part of the BR Shetty Group of companies. It has since been sold and renamed Unimoni. The other applicants are REPCO Bank - a government-promoted cooperative lender operating in the southern states, and
Vaish. Coincidentally, the names were released on the same day that Citi announced its decision to exit consumer banking in India, among other markets.
The other four applicants for an SFB licence include banking technology provider VSoft Technologies, Calicut City Cooperative Bank, Dvara Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services and Akhil Kumar Gupta.
Last month, the RBI had appointed a five-member panel to screen the application for new bank licences. The committee is headed by former RBI deputy governor Shyamala Gopinath. The standing external advisory committee (SEAC) has a term of three years.