NSDL to seek final RBI go-ahead for payments bank ‘very soon’

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The leading depository National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) said it will be applying for the final licences to launch a payments bank “very soon” and hopes to roll out the new entity over the next three months.

“We have complied with all the requirements for the final licence and will be making the final application for the payments bank very soon,” Managing Director and Chief Executive GV Nageswara Rao said.

He said the company will adhere to the February deadline for seeking the final nod from the Reserve Bank of India and hopes to launch the bank in three months from now.

The new payments bank venture will be a separate entity housed within the 20-year-old securities depository and will be led by an independent team starting with a chief executive, Rao said.

The leadership team has been identified and will be announced shortly, he said, but declined to give any further information about the new venture.

Claiming that NSDL, which successfully introduced the dematerialisation of shares in the country, is the true fountainhead of digitisation in the financial world, Rao said the payments bank will continue to leverage on the best technology has to offer.

NSDL are one among 11 entities which have been given an in-principle nod by the RBI to start payments banks with an 18-month window to apply for the final nod.

Three have withdrawn from the race midway, while Airtel has already launched its bank. Others, including SBI- RIL and Vodafone, are at various stages of launching or applying for the final nod.

Rao was speaking on the sidelines of an event to mark the 20th anniversary of NSDL.

Addressing the event, Sebi Chairman UK Sinha flagged cyber security as the biggest challenge for the financial markets in the days ahead.

Citing a recent instance of a breach, he asked the depository companies to be more watchful.