“Given that majority of the population is under 40 and they rarely have the time to visit bank branches, we are looking at scaling up doorstep banking and tap banking services. While they can apply for loans online, end-to-end processing of applications and sanction can also be done online. Besides, senior citizens, too, find these services useful. Hence, the need to focus on doorstep banking,” said VK Sethi, Head, Mortgages and Retail Assets, Bank of Baroda. In addition, the FM announced the government's decision to enable customers of one Public Sector Bank to access services across all public sector banks.
“The government will probably look at setting up a portal on the lines of Vidyalakshmi.co.in (for education loans) to provide all PSU bank customers a single platform to access various services across banks. For instance, they could make a loan application through the portal, which will elicit responses from banks that are interested. We will await the details," he added. In her maiden Budget speech, Sitharaman promised to empower accountholders to rectify the current situation where they do not have control over deposit of cash by others into their accounts. Details on how the checks and balances will be implemented remain to be seen.
This apart, the finance minister announced a major move that will bring housing finance companies (HFC) directly under the supervision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) instead of National Housing Bank (NHB) at present. 'With RBI coming as direct regulator to HFCS, now they will have to automatically follow RBI regulations. Hence, arbitrage between banks and HFCs will keep on reducing,” said Satyam Kumar, Co-founder and CEO, LoanTap.
Industry-watchers believe the move will benefit home loan customers and the sector. "RBI may, at its sole discretion, recommend and/or advice the HFCs and banks to follow a singular external benchmark for lending towards home acquisition. This will bring in the much needed transparency in the transmission of the policy initiatives by the regulator," said Vipul Patel, Founder, MortgageWorld.
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