Banking Notes for RBI & SBI exams

Hello readers, here we are posting some notes on General Knowledge (Banking), which will be helpful in the upcoming RBI and SBI exams.

                                          Quick Notes

The Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the RBI Act, 1934. RBI was nationalized in 1949 and it is fully owned by the Government of India. RBI was established on the recommendation of the Hilton Young Commission.

  • Issue of currency notes
  • Controlling the monetary policy
  • Regulator and supervisor of the financial system
  • Banker to other banks
  • Banker to the government
  • Granting licenses to banks
  • Control over NBFIs (Non Banking Financial Institutions)
  • Manager of Foreign Exchange of India (also known as FOREX)

RBI & Monetary Policy:
Monetary policy refers to the use of instruments under the control of the central bank to regulate the availability, cost and use of money and credit.
The main objectives of monetary policy in India are:
  • Maintaining price stability.
  • Ensuring adequate flow of credit to the productive sectors of the economy to support economic growth.
  • Financial stability.

There are several direct and indirect instruments that are used in the formulation and implementation of monetary policy.

Direct instruments:
  • Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR): The share of net demand and time liabilities that banks must maintain as cash balance with the Reserve Bank.
  • Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR): The share of net demand and time liabilities that banks must maintain in safe and liquid assets, such as government securities, cash and gold.
  • Refinance facilities: Sector-specific refinance facilities (e.g., against lending to export sector) provided to banks.

Indirect instruments:
  • Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF): Consists of daily infusion or absorption of liquidity on a repurchase basis, through repo (liquidity injection) and reverse repo (liquidity absorption) auction operations, using government securities as collateral.
  • Open Market Operations (OMO): Outright sales/purchases of government securities, in addition to LAF, as a tool to determine the level of liquidity over the medium term.
  • Market Stabilisation Scheme (MSS): This instrument for monetary management was introduced in 2004. Liquidity of a more enduring nature arising from large capital flows is absorbed through sale of short-dated government securities and treasury bills. The mobilised cash is held in a separate government account with the Reserve Bank.
  • Repo/reverse repo rate: These rates under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) determine the corridor for short-term money market interest rates. In turn, this is expected to trigger movement in other segments of the financial market and the real economy.
  • Bank rate: It is the rate at which the Reserve Bank is ready to buy or rediscount bills of exchange or other commercial papers. It also signals the medium-term stance of monetary policy.

Some Key financial terms:
  • APR:  It stands for Annual Percentage Rate. APR is a percentage that is calculated on the basis of the amount financed, the finance charges, and the term of the loan.
  • ABS:  Asset-Backed Securities. It means a type of security that is backed by a pool of bank loans, leases, and other assets.
  • EPS:  Earnings Per Share means the amount of annual earnings available to common stockholders as stated on a per share basis.
  • CHAPS:  Clearing House Automated Payment System. It’s a type of electronic bank-to-bank payment system that guarantees same-day payment.
  • IPO:  Initial Public Offerings is defined as the event where the company sells its shares to the public for the first time. (or the first sale of stock by a private company to the public.)
  • FPO:  Follow on Public Offerings: An issuing of shares to investors by a public company that is already listed on an exchange. An FPO is essentially a stock issue of supplementary shares made by a company that is already publicly listed and has gone through the IPO process.(Difference: IPO is for the companies which have not been listed on an exchange and FPO is for the companies which have already been listed on an exchange but want to raise funds by issuing some more equity shares.)
  • RTGS:  Real Time Gross Settlement systems is a funds transfer system where transfer of money or securities takes place from one bank to another on a “real time”. (‘Real time’ means within a fraction of seconds.) The minimum amount to be transferred through RTGS is Rs 2 lakh. Processing charges/Service charges for RTGS transactions vary from bank to bank.
  • NEFT: National Electronic Fund Transfer. This is a method used for transferring funds across banks in a secure manner. It usually takes 1-2 working days for the transfer to happen. NEFT is an electronic fund transfer system that operates on a Deferred Net Settlement (DNS) basis which settles transactions in batches. (Note: RTGS is much faster than NEFT.)
  • CAR: Capital Adequacy Ratio. It’s a measure of a bank’s capital. Also known as “Capital to Risk Weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR)”, this ratio is used to protect depositors and promote the stability and efficiency of financial systems around the world. It is decided by the RBI.
  • NPA: Non-Performing Asset. It means once the borrower has failed to make interest or principal payments for 90 days, the loan is considered to be a non-performing asset. Presently it is 2.39%.
  • IMPS: Immediate Payment Service. It is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones. Both the customers must have MMID (Mobile Money Identifier Number). For this service, we don’t need any GPS-enabled cell phones.
  • BCBS: Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is an institution created by the Central Bank governors of the Group of Ten nations.
  • IFSC code: Indian Financial System Code. The code consists of 11 characters for identifying the bank and branch where the account in actually held. The IFSC code is used both by the RTGS and NEFT transfer systems.
  • MICR Code:  Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) is a character-recognition technology used mainly by the banking industry to ease the processing and clearance of cheques and other documents. It  is at the bottom of cheques and other vouchers and typically includes the document-type indicator, bank code, bank account number, cheque number, cheque amount, and a control indicator.
  • MSME and SME: Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), and SME stands for Small and Medium Enterprises. This is an initiative of the government to drive and encourage small manufacturers to enjoy facilities from banks at concessional rates.
  • LIBOR: London InterBank Offered Rate. An interest rate at which banks can borrow funds, in marketable size, from other banks in the London interbank market.
  • LIBID: London Interbank Bid Rate. The average interest rate at which major London banks borrow Eurocurrency deposits from other banks.
  • ECGC: Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India. This organisation provides risk as well as insurance cover to the Indian exporters.
  • SWIFT: Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. It operates a worldwide financial messaging network which exchanges messages between banks and other financial institutions.
  • STRIPS: Separate Trading for Registered Interest & Principal Securities.
  • CIBIL: Credit Information Bureau of India Limited. CIBIL is India’s first credit information bureau. Whenever a person applies for new loans or credit card(s) to a financial institution, they generate the CIBIL report of the said person or concern to judge the credit worthiness of the person and also to verify their existing track record. CIBIL actually maintains the borrower’s history.
  • CRISIL: Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited. Crisil is a global analytical company providing ratings, research, and risk and policy advisory services.