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RBI issues new small finance bank license to BharatPe, Centrum

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The RBI said it has issued a small finance bank license to the consortium of Centrum Financial Services and Resilient Innovations (BharatPe).

RBI issues new small finance bank license to BharatPe, Centrum
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday has issued a Small Finance Bank (SFB) license to the consortium of Centrum Financial Services Ltd and Resilient Innovations Private Ltd (BharatPe).
"A new bank license has been issued after a gap of nearly 6 years, and we thank the RBI for the confidence shown in the abilities of Centrum and BharatPe," both the companies said.
The new SFB has been incorporated as 'Unity Small Finance Bank'. Unity as a name has tremendous significance on many counts for both Centrum and BharatPe, the statement said.
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It is the first time ever that two partners are uniting equally to build a Bank. The proposed business model is one of collaboration and open architecture, uniting all its stakeholders to deliver a seamless digital experience. Centrum’s successful MSME and Micro Finance businesses shall be merged into Unity Small Finance Bank, the statement added.
Jaspal Bindra, executive chairman, Centrum Group, "We are delighted to receive the license and excited to partner with BharatPe to create this new age bank, with a strong team. We aspire to be India’s first Digital Bank."
Ashneer Grover, co-founder and managing director, BharatPe, "I wish to thank RBI for entrusting the Unity of BharatPe and Centrum with the SFB License. We will work tirelessly and smartly to capture this opportunity and build India’s first truly Digital Bank ground up."
On June 18 this year, the RBI granted in-principle approval to Centrum Financial Services to set up a small finance bank, where the non-bank entity will take over the crisis-ridden Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC).
"This "in-principle" approval has been accorded in specific pursuance to the Centrum Financial Services Limited's offer dated February 1, 2021, in response to the expression of interest notification (November 3, 2020) published by the PMC Bank Ltd," the RBI said in a statement.
The RBI said it has granted "in-principle" approval to Centrum Financial Services to set up a small finance bank under the general ''Guidelines for ''on tap'' Licensing of Small Finance Banks in the Private Sector''.
The PMC Bank had invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from eligible investors for investment/ equity participation for its reconstruction and had received four proposals.
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