RBI - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   RBI kept repo rates ____ in second bi-monthly monetary policy review.

a. Higher
b. Lower
c. Unchanged
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Unchanged

Explanation:
The Reserve Bank of India has kept repo rate unchanged at 6.25% in its second bi-monthly monetary policy review.

Reverse Repo rate has been kept unchanged at 6%.

The RBI has cut the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) by 50 basis points to 20%. RBI has projected the headline inflation in the range of 2.0-3.5% in the first half of 2017-18 and 3.5-4.5% in the second half.

According to the central bank, the implementation of GST is not expected to have material impact on overall inflation. It has observed that the 7th Pay Commission allowances, geo political, financial risk pose upside risk to inflation.

RBI has reduced the growth projection for the current fiscal to 7.3% from 7.4%. The monetary policy decision has been taken by the six-member monetary policy committee (MPC).

The RBI has also revised its target for gross value added (GVA) by 10 basis points to 7.3%.

Statutory Liquidity Ratio/SLR: Know More

  • SLR is the portion of bank deposits that have to be invested in government bonds.
  • Components of SLR include cash in hand, gold owned by the bank, balance with RBI, Net balance in current account & Investment in Government securities.
  • SLR has to be maintained at the close of business on every day.


2)   RBI has tightened the rules around JLFs. What does JLF stand for?

a. Joint Lenders Forum
b. Joint Liability Forum
c. Joint Liaison Forum
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Joint Lenders Forum

Explanation:
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has tightened the rules around making the Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) more effective.

It is directing banks not to break any rules and to meet all deadlines.

The RBI has said that any breach of rules would attract a monetary penalty.

JLFs are meetings held to revitalise stressed assets.

In JLF banks attempt to red-flag stress early and check them by putting in place a corrective action plan (CAP).

JLFs inefficiency basically stems out from the disagreements between lenders. The entire model of JLF is based on the premise that collective action of banks against a borrower for recovery.

However, in reality, different lenders have different levels of comfort or discomfort, based on the exposure, collateral, etc.

Many lenders have also complained about the lack of transparency in JLF.

As per the new norms, RBI has lowered the threshold needed for implementing the corrective action plan (CAP).

Now, the decisions agreed to by a minimum of 60% of creditors by value and 50% of creditors would now be valid to implement the CAP.

Once a decision is reached by the JLF, it would be binding on all other lenders and they must implement it without any additional conditionality.

However, if a lender wants to exit by exercising the substitution option but failed to exit within the given time, it has to go along with the decision taken.

RBI JLF rules : Know more

  • RBI has asked all banks to ensure their representatives on the JLF to be armed with appropriate mandates.
  • It has also asked the executives to take an unambiguous and unconditional stand and vote accordingly. As per the new norms, the executives after taking the decision should be suitably empowered to implement them without necessitating any board approvals.
  • The CAP can include resolution through the flexible structuring of project loans, change in ownership under strategic debt restructuring or scheme of the sustainable structuring of stressed assets.


3)   According to RBI, India’s forex reserves rose to which record high?

a. USD 372.73 billion
b. USD 373.73 billion
c. USD 374.73 billion
d. USD 375.73 billion
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: USD 372.73 billion

Explanation:
According to the Reserve Bank of India’s weekly statistical supplement, India’s foreign exchange, Forex reserves have increased by USD 1.594 billion to touch a lifetime high of USD 372.73 billion in the week that ended on April 28.

The increase was due to increase in foreign currency assets (FCAs), The reserves had increased by USD 1.250 billion to USD 371.14 billion in the previous week.

The components of India’s Foreign Exchange Reserves include foreign currency assets (FCAs) Gold Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) RBI’s Reserve position with International Monetary Fund (IMF).

FCAs constitute the largest component of the Forex Reserves. FCA surged $1.569 billion to $349.055 billion in the reporting week. FCAs consist of US dollar and other major non-US global currencies.

It also comprises of investments in US Treasury bonds, bonds of other selected governments, deposits with foreign central and commercial banks.

FCAs include with them the effects of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies like the euro, pound, and the yen and is expressed in terms of dollars.

The gold reserves stand at USD 19.869 billion. SDRs’ value has increased USD 8.5 million to reach USD 1.460 billion. RBI’s reserve position with the IMF also increased by USD 15.8 million to reach USD 2.347 billion.


4)   RBI has asked ARCs to have minimum NOF of ____ crore.

a. 25
b. 50
c. 70
d. none of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: none of the above

Explanation:
The apex bank of India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked all the existing asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) to have a minimum net owned fund (NOF) of INR 100 crore by March 2019.

This decision has been taken by RBI in accordance with its last bi-monthly monetary policy in which it had proposed to stipulate a minimum NOF of INR 100 crore taking into consideration the enhanced role and greater cash based transactions carried out by ARCs.

As per amended SARFAESI Act, 2016, ARCs cannot carry on the business of securitisation or asset reconstruction without having NOF of not less than INR 2 crore or any other amount stipulated by the RBI.

As per the notification of RBI, the existing ARCs not meeting the minimum NOF criteria need to achieve the minimum NOF of INR 100 crore latest by 31 March 2019.

What is an ARC?

  • ARC is a company registered under Section 3 of the Securitisation and reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002.
  • ARCs are regulated by the RBI.
  • They are the specialised agencies with a main role of resolving the stressed assets issue of the Indian banking system.
  • They are involved in buying bad loans from Indian banks to turn them around.
  • The Narsimham Committee –2 (1998) proposed establishment of ARCs on the similar lines with that of asset management companies present globally.
  • ARCs help the banks to concentrate on normal banking operations rather than dealing with stressed assets.


5)   Which office has seen the appointment of an RBI ombudsman?

a. Jammu
b. Delhi
c. Both of the above
d. Punjab
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Explanation:
The Reserve Bank has opened a new ombudsman office in Jammu as part of its efforts to expand banking grievances complaint cells across the country. E

Earlier, the banking services related complaints from entire Jammu & Kashmir used to fall under the jurisdiction of New Delhi-I banking ombudsman office.

There are two banking ombudsman offices in New Delhi.

There has been a significant increase in banking network during the recent past and the New Delhi office covers a large jurisdiction.


6)   EBI has come out with a PCA for banks. What does PCA stand for?

a. Performance corrective action
b. Prompt corrective action
c. Personnel corrective action
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Prompt corrective action

Explanation:
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come out with a revised prompt corrective action (PCA) framework for banks, spelling out certain thresholds, the breach of which could invite resolutions such as a merger with another bank or even shutting down of the bank.

The revised norms have set out three thresholds.

The breach of the third one on capital would identify a bank as a likely candidate for resolution through tools like amalgamation, reconstruction, winding up etc.

The provisions of the revised PCA framework will be effective from April 1, 2017 based on the financials of the banks for the year ended March 31, 2017.

The framework would be reviewed after three years, the RBI said.

The thresholds are based on capital, net non-performing assets, profitability and leverage ratio.

The breach of the first threshold will invite restriction on dividend distribution or require parents of foreign banks to bring in more capital.

This will get triggered if capital adequacy ratio (including capital conservation buffer) falls below 10.25% or common equity tier-I (CET1) capital ratio falls below 6.75%.

Breach of either CAR or CET1 would trigger corrective action, the RBI said. The trigger for net NPA is 6% and 4% for leverage ratio.

Two consecutive years of negative return on assets (RoA) will also be classified in threshold one.

The breach of the second threshold will occur when the capital adequacy ratio falls below 7.75% or CET1 goes below 5.125%.

The net NPA threshold is breach of 12% and leverage ratio below 3.5%.

Three consecutive years of negative ROA will also trigger threshold two. Breach of threshold two will result in restrictions on expansion of branches and higher provisions.

The breach of the last threshold happens when CET1 falls below 3.625% and net NPA goes above 12%. Negative ROA for four consecutive years will also be considered as a breach of the third threshold vis-a-vis the profitability parameter.

Restrictions, in addition to that of threshold one and two, will be put on management compensation and directors’ fees if the third level is breached.

Corrective action that can be imposed on banks includes special audit, restructuring operations and activation of recovery plan.

The RBI has said that promoters of banks can be asked to bring in new management, or even can supersede the bank’s board, as a part of corrective action.

RBI: Know More

  • Established: 1 April 1935; 82 years ago
  • Governor: Urjit Patel
  • Central bank of Republic of India
  • Currency: Indian Rupee (₹)
  • Reserves: US$ 363.00 billion
  • Bank rate: 6.75%
  • Interest on reserves: 4.00%(market determined
  • Website: rbi.org.in


7)   What is the value of the reverse repo rate, as per the first RBI bimonthly policy review of 2017-2018?

a. 5.75%
b. 5.25%
c. 6%
d. 6.25%
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 6%

Explanation:
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept the key policy rate, or the repo rate, unchanged in the first bimonthly policy review of 2017-18 but narrowed the policy corridor by 25 bps by raising the reverse repo rate to 6%, from 5.75%.

All six members of the monetary policy committee (MPC) - which decides interest rates - voted in favour of the decision.

The central bank said the policy decision was consistent with the neutral policy stance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for retail inflation, which is 4%.

The MPC saw the path of inflation in 2017-18 challenged by upside risks and unfavourable base effects towards the second half of the year.

Accordingly, inflation developments have to be closely monitored with food price pressures can be checked so that inflation expectations can be anchored.

The central bank indicated the future course of monetary policy would largely depend on incoming data on how macroeconomic conditions are evolving.

While the repo rate action was in line with market expectations, the governor’s hawkish tone disappointed bond traders who were expecting a softer tone.

Yield on the 10-year benchmark bond hardened to 6.77% as compared with its previous close of 6.65%.

The central bank has set its inflation projection to an average of 4.5% in the first half of 2017-18 and 5% in the second half, while keeping its GVA growth projection unchanged at 7.4% for FY18 as compared with 6.7% in FY17.

Surplus liquidity in the banking system had fallen from close to ?8 lakh crore in January to ₹4.8 lakh crore in March.

A standing deposit facility to the government in November 2015, was proposed approval for which was still awaited.

SDF is a mechanism to drain surplus cash at a rate lower than the repo rate without the need for any collateral.

Key Takeaways from RBI Monetary Policy review:

  • RBI is optimistic about growth in FY18 and has projected Gross Value Added (GVA) growth to be 7.4 percent as against 6.7 percent last year.
  • Inflation has been projected to be between 4.5-5 percent for the year with some caution being posted on the monsoon progress.
  • RBI has lowered the corridor around the repo rate.
  • RBI has not quite said anything specific about Non-performing assets (NPAs) but will be coming out with another paper on prompt corrective action which addresses some of the issues.
  • RBI has put forward a proposal to set up a standing deposit facility to the government whereby banks can park their surplus funds with the RBI without bonds as securities.
  • The Reserve Bank of India, in its first monetary policy review of financial year 2017-18, kept the repurchase (repo) rate unchanged at 6.25%, citing upward risks to inflation and global uncertainty.
  • The Monetary Policy Committee, however, raised the reverse repo rate by 0.25 basis points to 6%, and cut the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate to 6.5%.


8)   Who has been appointed RBI ED w.e.f April 3, 2017?

a. Malvika Sanghvi
b. Malvika Sinha
c. Malvika Sen
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Malvika Sinha

Explanation:
The Reserve Bank has appointed Malvika Sinha as Executive Director following the appointment of B P Kanungo as Deputy Governor.

Sinha took charge on April 3.

As Executive Director, she will look after foreign exchange department, department of government and bank accounts and internal debt management wing.

Kanungo was Executive Director of the Reserve Bank before being elevated to the post of Deputy Governor.

Sinha had joined the Reserve Bank in 1982 and as a career central banker served in the areas of regulation and supervision, foreign exchange and government and bank accounts.

Prior to being promoted as ED, she was Principal Chief General Manager, Department of Cooperative Banking Supervision in the Reserve Bank.

Sinha holds a Masters Degree from University of Bombay and has done her Masters in Public Administration. She is also a Certificated Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers.


9)   Which department will RBI open from April 3 to oversee breaches of rules and their violation?

a. Enforcement department
b. Grievances Redressal department
c. Social welfare department
d. Financial laws department
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Enforcement department

Explanation:
RBI will open a separate enforcement department from April 3 to oversee possible breaches of rules and take punitive actions against those who violate them.

The Enforcement Department shall, inter alia, develop a broad policy for enforcement and initiate enforcement action against the regulated entities for violation consistent with such policy.

The department proposed to be opened on April 3 would serve as a centralised wing to deal with banks only for enforcement action.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reported that the net profit/loss, profit after tax (PAT) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) declined to INR (-)17,993 crore during 2015-16 from INR 37,823 crore in 2014-15 and INR 37,019 crore in 2013-14.

At the same time PAT of private banks increased from INR 33,661 crore during 2013-14 to INR 38,735 crore in 2014-15 and further to INR 41,314 crore during 2015-16.

PAT of PSBs stood at Rs (-)1,678 crore for the period April- December, 2016 while it was INR 31,262 crore for the same period for private sector.

RBI has informed that as part of the package of measures announced on August 25, 2016 for development of fixed income and currency markets, in connection with developing the market for rupee denominated bonds overseas, it has been decided to permit banks to issue Perpetual Debt Instruments (PDI) qualifying for inclusion as Additional Tier 1 capital and debt capital instruments.

It was also decided to allow banks to issue rupee denominated bonds overseas under the extant framework of incentivising issuance of long term bonds by banks for financing infrastructure and affordable housing.

The RBI has also taken various measures to deepen the corporate bond market.


10)   Who has been appointed part time chairman of Catholic Syrian Bank?

a. TS Anantharaman
b. TS Subramaniam
c. TS Anantdev
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: TS Anantharaman

Explanation:
RBI has accorded approval for the appointment of TS Anatharaman as part time chairman of Catholic Syrian Bank.

He has been holding the position of non executive director of the bank since Aug 28, 2009.

Anatharaman is a senior CA with wide experience in practice, service, consulting, industry and teaching.

He has served with the UN for 7 years.

Anantharaman was President of Chamber of Commerce, Thrissur, Thrissur Management Association and numerous other institutions.

Currently, he is investment consultant and director of numerous companies and institutions


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