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Banking - General Knowledge Questions
A)
Axis Bank
B)
HDFC Bank
C)
ICICI Bank
D)
State Bank of India

Correct Answer : Option (B) - HDFC Bank

HDFC Bank's initiative to open a branch in Lakshadweep, specifically at Kavaratti Island, marks a milestone as it becomes the first private sector bank to establish a presence in the Union Territory.

This move underscores HDFC Bank's commitment to expanding its reach and offering banking services, including personalized digital solutions, to the residents and businesses of Lakshadweep.

A)
Jana Small Finance Bank
B)
Fincare Small Finance Bank
C)
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank
D)
Utkarsh Small Finance Bank

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Fincare Small Finance Bank

AU Small Finance Bank merged with Fincare Small Finance Bank on April 1, 2024, in an all-stock deal approved by the RBI.

This merger enhances AU SFB's reach in South India, creating a customer base of approximately 1 crore and expanding its network to 2,350 physical touchpoints across 25 states and union territories.

A)
105 Years
B)
100 Years
C)
95 Years
D)
90 Years

Correct Answer : Option (D) - 90 Years

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the nation’s central banking institution, is entering its 90th year on April 1st, 2024. To mark this significant occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attending the event at Mumbai’s National Centre for the Performing Arts.

Establishment and History

* The RBI was established on April 1, 1934, following recommendations from the Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance to maintain the country’s monetary stability. Its operations commenced on April 1, 1935, with Sir Osborne Smith as the first Governor.

* Over the years, the RBI has seen 26 Governors, with the current Governor being Shaktikanta Das, who assumed office in October 2021. The Central Office of the RBI was initially in Kolkata but was shifted to Mumbai in 1937.

Expanding Roles and Responsibilities

* Initially responsible for currency issuance, banking services, and agricultural credit, the RBI’s role has expanded over the decades to include:

* Monetary management
* Regulation and supervision of the financial system
* Management of foreign exchange
* Regulation and supervision of payment and settlement systems
* Developmental roles


Significant Achievements

Balance Sheet and Liquidity Support : The RBI’s balance sheet currently stands at a staggering Rs 63 lakh crore as of March 31, 2023, larger than the annual budget of the government. This strong balance sheet enabled the RBI to provide liquidity support of close to 9% of GDP (US$ 227 billion) post-COVID-19.

Foreign Exchange Reserves : India’s foreign exchange reserves currently stand at a substantial USD 642 billion, the fourth-highest in the world. These reserves play a crucial role in maintaining the stability of the rupee’s value and have helped India weather global crises, such as the 1997 East Asian currency crisis and the 2008 financial crisis.

Inflation Management : The RBI’s role in inflation management or price stability has evolved over the years. A flexible inflation targeting framework was established in 2016, with a six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) responsible for setting interest rates to maintain inflation within a target range of 2-6%, with 4% being the target.

Financial Sector Regulation : The RBI has implemented initiatives to reduce non-performing assets (NPAs) in banks’ books and maintain a comfortable capital adequacy ratio of 15-16%. It has also served as a lender of last resort, rescuing failing banks like Yes Bank and Lakshmi Vilas Bank.

Promoting Digital Payments : In the last decade, the RBI has played a crucial role in promoting digital payments. The Unified Payments Interface (UPI), an instant account-to-account transfer system, currently handles a staggering 12 billion transactions per month, with a total value reaching Rs 18.23 lakh crore in December 2022 alone.

Future Outlook :

* Over the next five years, UPI is poised to further erode the shares of NEFT and paper-based cheque transactions. Within the next 2-3 years, India’s UPI transaction volume is expected to surpass the combined transaction volume of global payment networks like Visa and Mastercard.

* As the RBI celebrates its 90th anniversary, it continues to play a vital role in maintaining the country’s economic stability, regulating the financial sector, and promoting digital innovations in the payments ecosystem.

A)
Axis Bank
B)
Yes Bank
C)
HDFC Bank
D)
IndusInd Bank

Correct Answer : Option (C) - HDFC Bank

HDFC Bank, a leading private sector lender in India, is pursuing the sale of its entire stake in HDFC Education and Development Services. This move comes as the bank seeks to maintain transparency and regulatory compliance while selecting a buyer through the Swiss challenge method.

Regulatory Filing Details :

* HDFC Bank disclosed its intention to divest its stake in HDFC Education and Development Services in a regulatory filing on March 30, 2024.
* The bank has engaged with an interested party through a binding term sheet, initiating the Swiss challenge process to solicit counter offers.
* The selection of the final purchaser will be based on the completion of the Swiss challenge process, after which definitive documentation for the transaction will be finalized.

RBI Approval and Timeline :

* Previously, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had granted approval for HDFC Bank to retain ownership in HDFC Education for two years following the merger between HDFC Ltd and HDFC Bank.

Future Steps :

* Upon conclusion of the Swiss challenge process, HDFC Bank will proceed to select the purchaser and finalize definitive documentation for the transaction.
* Details of the definitive documentation required by regulations will be disclosed upon execution of such documentation.

A)
Axis Bank
B)
IDFC First Bank
C)
South Indian Bank
D)
IndusInd Bank

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Axis Bank

Axis Bank has announced (26th Mar 2024) the introduction of digital US dollar fixed deposits (FDs) for NRI customers at the IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) at GIFT City, Gujarat. The bank has become the first to offer a digital journey for opening deposits at GIFT City.

Digital, Paperless Process through Mobile Banking App :

* NRI customers of Axis Bank can now open US dollar fixed deposits at GIFT City through the bank’s mobile banking application, ‘Open by Axis Bank’. This offering provides an end-to-end digital paperless solution, eliminating the need for physical documentation.

Seamless Experience and Attractive Interest Rates

The digital process allows customers to :

* Seamlessly open an FD account anytime, from anywhere
* Track and manage their FD digitally
* Request partial or full premature closure of the FD from the mobile app

Axis Bank provides NRIs with attractive interest rates and a wide range of investment tenures from seven days up to ten years, making it one of the best investment opportunities.


Simplifying the Process for NRI Customers :

According to the bank, this offering simplifies the process of booking US dollar fixed deposits for NRI customers, providing them with a convenient and hassle-free experience.

By introducing digital US dollar fixed deposits at GIFT City, Axis Bank aims to cater to the growing demand for digital banking services among NRI customers, while also leveraging the opportunities presented by the IFSC Banking Unit at GIFT City.

A)
ICICI Bank
B)
Indian Bank
C)
Canara Bank
D)
Kotak Mahindra Bank

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Kotak Mahindra Bank

Kotak Mahindra Bank has successfully acquired Sonata Finance Private Limited (Sonata) for a total consideration of approximately Rs. 537 crore. This acquisition grants Kotak Mahindra Bank full ownership of Sonata, bolstering its presence in the microfinance sector.

Sonata Finance: A Microfinance Powerhouse :

* Sonata Finance is a Non-Banking Finance Company – Micro Finance Institution (NBFC-MFI) registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
* As of December 31, 2023, Sonata boasted an impressive Asset Under Management (AUM) of approximately Rs. 2,620 crore.
* Sonata operates across 10 states through a network of 549 branches, providing microfinance services to underserved communities.

Kotak’s Microfinance Expansion Strategy :

* The acquisition of Sonata was previously announced by Kotak Mahindra Bank in February 2023 and October 2023, signaling the bank’s intention to expand its microfinance operations.
* With the acquisition now finalized, Sonata’s extensive microfinance network becomes part of the Kotak Mahindra Bank umbrella, strengthening the bank’s presence in the microfinance sector.


Reshuffling Insurance Business :

* In a separate development, earlier in February 2024, Kotak Mahindra Bank decided to give up its majority stake in the general insurance business. The private sector lender announced that Zurich Insurance will acquire a 70% stake in the bank’s general insurance arm, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance, for ?5,560 crore in a single tranche.

* This move follows the bank’s November 2023 announcement of selling a 51% stake in Kotak Mahindra General Insurance to Zurich Insurance for ?4,051 crore through a combination of fresh capital infusion and share purchase. The remaining 19% stake was supposed to be sold within a period of three years.

* Kotak Mahindra Bank’s acquisition of Sonata Finance and the reshuffling of its insurance business demonstrate the bank’s strategic efforts to expand its microfinance operations while realigning its focus in the insurance sector.

A)
RBL Bank
B)
Federal Bank
C)
IDBI Bank
D)
State Bank of India

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Federal Bank

In a strategic collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Federal Bank introduces 'Flash Pay', a revolutionary RuPay smart key chain facilitating contactless NCMC (National Common Mobility Card) payments. This innovative solution enables users to tap and pay at metro stations and PoS terminals, ensuring swift transactions with enhanced security.

Key Features of ‘Flash Pay’ :

* Convenient Contactless Transactions : Users can effortlessly make payments up to ?5,000 without requiring a PIN, streamlining the payment process at various locations.
* Enhanced Security Measures : For transactions exceeding ?5,000, PIN authentication is mandatory, ensuring heightened security for higher-value purchases.
* Daily Transaction Limit : A daily cap of ?1 lakh at any PoS terminal has been instituted, offering users flexibility while ensuring prudent financial management.

Benefits of ‘Flash Pay’ :

* Simplified Payments  : By eliminating the need for physical cards or cash, ‘Flash Pay’ enhances convenience and expedites transactions for users.
* Fortified Protection : With robust security features including tokenization and encryption, users can trust ‘Flash Pay’ for safe and secure digital transactions.
* Versatile Usage : The device empowers users to make payments at millions of merchants, expanding their purchasing capabilities while maintaining security standards.

A)
YES Bank
B)
Axis Bank
C)
HDFC Bank
D)
IDFC FIRST Bank

Correct Answer : Option (A) - YES Bank

YES Bank has collaborated with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as the Official Banking Partner for Team India at the Paris Olympics 2024, launching the 'Milkar Jitayengey' campaign and introducing the 'YES Glory Debit Card' and 'YES Glory' savings account to support India’s Olympic athletes.

A)
Yes Bank
B)
IDFC First Bank
C)
IndusInd Bank
D)
South Indian Bank

Correct Answer : Option (C) - IndusInd Bank

IndusInd Bank has set a new standard in digital payments with the launch of 'Indus PayWear,' India's first All-in-One tokenisable wearables for credit and debit cards. This offering, initially exclusive to Mastercard, is poised to transform the payment landscape by eliminating the need for physical cards or payment apps for transactions.

Indus PayWear introduces a range of payment accessories, including rings and watch clasps, all secured through advanced card tokenization technology. With a price range from ?499 to ?2,999, these wearables cater to diverse customer preferences, providing an affordable and convenient payment solution.

The dedicated Indus PayWear mobile app empowers users with a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) experience, enabling seamless setup of IndusInd Bank debit and credit cards on the wearable device. The app facilitates easy card switching, making the wearable truly "All-in-One". Additionally, it offers features such as transaction monitoring and efficient management/blocking of the device for enhanced security.


The wearables are designed with paramount security in mind, utilising advanced tokenisation technology that replaces actual card details with unique 'tokens' for each transaction. This ensures the safety and security of every transaction conducted through Indus PayWear.

Indus PayWear transactions come with the same rewards and security features as the underlying debit or credit card. For transactions below ?5,000, a simple tap-and-pay mechanism is employed. However, transactions exceeding ?5,000 require the added security of entering the Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the Point-of-Sale (PoS) machine, adhering to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines.

Sumant Kathpalia, Managing Director & CEO of IndusInd Bank, said, “With the rapid growth of contactless payments and its acceptance across the globe, we are glad to introduce Indus PayWear that stands as a symbol of our unwavering commitment to shaping a seamless and secure future of payments for our customers.”

Gautam Aggarwal, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard, said, “Mastercard is pleased to collaborate with IndusInd Bank for its range of contactless wearables, Indus Paywear, that aims to deliver unparalleled flexibility, convenience, and security to users.”.

Source : Tech Circel

A)
World Bank
B)
Asian Development Bank
C)
New Development Bank
D)
Bank Indonesia (BI)

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Bank Indonesia (BI)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Bank Indonesia (BI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Mumbai on Thursday (7th Mar 2024) for establishing a framework to promote the use of local currencies viz. the Indian Rupee (INR) and the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) for cross-border transactions. The MoU was signed by the Governor of Reserve Bank of India Mr. Shaktikanta Das and the Governor of Bank Indonesia Mr. Perry Warjiyo. This collaboration marks a key milestone in strengthening bilateral cooperation between RBI and BI.

In a press release issued on Thursday (7th Mar 2024), the RBI said the MoU on establishing a framework for cooperation in the area of cross-border transactions in local currencies between India and Indonesia, aims to promote the use of INR and IDR bilaterally.


It said this will eventually contribute to promoting trade between India and Indonesia as well as deepen financial integration and strengthen the long historical, cultural and economic relations between India and Indonesia.

The RBI said the MoU covers all current account transactions, permissible capital account transactions and any other economic and financial transactions as agreed upon by both countries.

It added that this framework would enable exporters and importers to invoice and pay in their respective domestic currencies, which in turn would enable the development of an INR-IDR foreign exchange market. The use of local currencies would optimise costs and settlement time for transactions..

Source : AIR