The Reserve Bank of India is to welcome new applications for banking licences on an ongoing basis instead of during defined periods to "increase the level of competition and bring new ideas into the system".
Since liberalisation of the country's banking sector began in the early nineties, applications for private-sector bank licences have only been accepted once a decade.
The results of the European Banking Authority's latest stress tests of EU banks showed the sector as a whole has built up its capital buffers in the last two years but analysts noted that the tests did not consider the effect of negative interest rates on banks' ability to turn a profit or the likely impact of the UK's Brexit vote on the sector.
The results, which were released on Friday night, showed Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank performed better than expected while the UK's Barclays and Ireland's AIB and Bank of Ireland performed poorly. No formal pass or fail mark was issued with the results.
The US Department of Commerce has said that China will be the leading export market in the payments sector in 2017, while Japan will become the leading export market for the overall fintech sector, in its annual report "2016 Top Markets Report Financial Technology".
It found that payment services have the highest adoption rate among fintech products (17.6 percent), followed by savings and investments (16.7 percent), insurance services (7.7 percent) and online borrowing (5.6 percent).
The president of Ant Financial Services Group, Eric Jing, has signalled that it intends to challenge China UnionPay's dominance in the Chinese payments market after praising the benefits of market competition in the sector in an interview with the Financial Times.
Alipay, Ant's online payments unit, bypasses UnionPay's network when processing mobile payments to offline merchants such as supermarkets, restaurants, and taxis, he told the newspaper. "So-called offline payments [mobile payments to offline merchants] are still online mobile payments for the user, so the payment model isn't the same [as bank card payments]," he said.
In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed a deadline of the end of June 2019 for consumers who feel they were mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) to make a claim. The FCA said the rule setting a deadline for claims would come into force by the end of next year, and would be accompanied by a consumer campaign to raise awareness ahead of the cut off in 2019.
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