K. V. Kamath Wants a Free Market in Banking, for ICICI Bank

Banking is one of the most regulated industries in India. A bank needs RBI approval before opening every single branch. K. V. Kamath, CEO of ICICI Bank wants branch licensing to be liberalised – for his bank of course, not for foreign banks. What did you think?

5 thoughts on “K. V. Kamath Wants a Free Market in Banking, for ICICI Bank

  1. Not fair. All banks need RBI approval, or none need RBI approval.

    On a slightly different note –
    ICICI Bank is the worst bank of India, in terms of customer satisfaction and banking ethics .. Going by the number of incidents, ICICI seems to be a goonda bank… (even their managers talk like one) . They employ bad practices quite often.

    KV Kamath probably wants to get one up on his foreign competitors and hence this stupid request to RBI. …

  2. Every branch needs RBI approval, but it is way more difficult to get approval for a foreign bank than for ICICI. I am not sure if it is formally stated as a regulation or that is just how it is. I know that at one time, foreign banks had a hard limit on the number of cities they could open branches in.

  3. It is more difficult. RBI regulations cap the maximum number of branches all foreign banks together can open in a year at ten (and getting the individual license itself is a problem).

    Also, RBI has now decided that foreign banks must serve underbanked areas before ovevrbanked ones. So Barclays has a retail branch in Kanchipuram but not in Chennai.

  4. Ravi Kiran jee,
    Thats what I think. Either every bank has to go for RBI approvals, or no bank needs approvals for new branches. Why should ICICI (or Indian) banks get extra benefits, and how exactly will it benefit us, the customers ?
    I dont think its a good idea to limit the competition from foreign banks.
    Already we are facing a decline in quality of banking services, more competition is always welcome.

    Just wanted to mention that ICICI bank employs goondas against not just people who intend to be defaulters, but also genuine customers. I have come across just too many cases. A lady near my neighbourhood was sent a cheque for a personal loan she never applied for. And though she did not use the cheque, goondas came to her home to threaten her into paying EMIs, by breaking utensils, throwing things around, etc. In another case, icici sent goondas to a colleague’s home who missed his credit card minimum repayment, because he was abroad.
    In Pune, about a year ago, they even kidnapped a customer’s son.

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