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Debashis Basu: RBI's Luddite licensing

Businessmen too were excited with the payment bank idea, as they always are, when regulators seem to open the cookie jar just a little bit to allow a few hands to dip into it

Debashis Basu

To the great consternation of the wise men of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and proving cheerleading commentators wrong, applicants to set up payment banks are dropping out one after another. Cholamandalam Finance, run by the level-leaded Murugappa group from the South, was the first to drop out. Then it was the flamboyant Dillip Shanghvi and his brother-in-law Sudhir Valia, who seemed hell-bent on wasting a small part of their considerable wealth on banking - after wind farms (investing in Suzlon) and finance (Fortune Financial) - but they too have sobered up and decided to drop the ...