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Anil Ambani plans to set up a world class bank

Last updated on: September 28, 2010 22:33 IST

Anil Ambani plans to set up a world class bank

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With the Reserve Bank of India throwing open a discussion on granting new banking licences, the Anil Ambani Group on Tuesday said it plans to enter the banking business through group firm Reliance Capital.

"We have always regarded banking as a high-priority sector with huge potential opportunity, and are evaluating the different options contained in the (RBI's proposed) guidelines," Group chairman Anil Ambani said at the annual general meeting of Reliance Capital in Mumbai.

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Image: ADAG chairman Anil Ambani.
Photographs: Reuters
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He was referring to a discussion paper recently floated by RBI on grant of new banking licenses.

"It has always been our ambition to create a world-class bank," Ambani said.

"The RBI has recently come out with a discussion paper, containing revised guidelines for the grant of a banking licence," he said.

"These guidelines outline a number of different licensing options for a company such as ours, namely, conversion, promotion or acquisition," Ambani told Reliance Capital shareholders at the company's 24th AGM.

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Image: A bank teller counting notes.
Photographs: Reuters
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Underlining the need for more banks in the country, he said that there were not enough bank branches or even ATMs to cater to the entire population.

"A strong, vibrant economy needs a sound and efficient financial system.

"Our financial institutions and markets must become truly inclusive so that they reach out to ordinary men and women and help them achieve their financial goals.

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Image: ADAG chairman Anil Ambani.
Photographs: Reuters
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"In common with many other sectors of the economy, there is much to be done here," he said, adding that India was a country of over 600,000 villages but our largest bank has only 14,000 branches.

"In fact, the ATMs of all banks taken together do not cross 600,000," he said.

Reliance Capital, which has presence in a host of financial services segments such as mutual fund, insurance and non-banking finance, has been interested for a long time in setting up a bank.


Image: Customers queue up at a bank counter.
Photographs: Reuters
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