The youngest and the only Governor of the Reserve Bank of India to die in office, James Taylor spent almost his entire career in the cause of central banking in India for around two decades. In that sense, he was India’s first real central banker.
Like a flower, he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.
On 13 March 1999, the Reserve Bank of India decided to set up a Regulations Review Authority for one year. The objective was to make the Reserve Bank regulations effective and simple. The background to constituting the RRA, effective from 1 April 1999, was as given below: Continue reading “The Regulations Review Authority”
I initially thought of titling this Advice to a Young Director, in the manner of Advice to a Young Scientist by Sir Peter Medawar, the British-Brazilian biologist and writer of Lebanese origin, and Nobel Laureate in Medicine (1960). Writing of Medawar, “The wittiest of all scientific writers,” wrote Richard Dawkins, and “the cleverest man I have ever known,” wrote Stephen Jay Gould. Coming from Dawkins and Gould, there cannot be higher praise. Medawar’s short book, suggested by a Physics Professor at IIT Madras, stayed an inspiration through my research. It is highly recommended for researchers in any discipline including corporate governance. Continue reading “My corporate governance experience”
Last week I had posted questions for the RBI Quiz 2021. The answers are provided below. I should add that most of these questions are curtain raisers to future and more elaborate posts on the subject. Stay tuned! Continue reading “RBI Quiz 2021 – The Answers”
The story of a former SBI Chairman’s arrest and release: the case of a resolution and retribution.
Sometime in early 2004. I was the last in-charge of the Reserve Bank of India’s Chennai Office of the (then) Department of Banking Operations and Development, now called the Department of Regulation. The following July the Regional Offices merged with the Bank’s Department of Banking Supervision (now Department of Supervision). Late in the afternoon, a short and quiet person walked in unaccompanied. He had recently taken over as the Chief General Manager of the Chennai Circle of State Bank of India. Seven years later he became the Chairman of the bank. He needn’t have troubled himself to meet me. At least the Reserve Bank I knew and admired never stood by such empty formalities. Nevertheless, the simplicity and humility of the man impressed me. Therefore, the news of his arrest shocked everyone who knew him. Continue reading “Former SBI Chairman’s Arrest”
The Case of the Reserve Bank of India Circular on Opening Current Account
An oft cited paper in the literature on regulation goes by the title “Gentle Nudge vs. Hard Shove”. The regulatory dilemma is exemplified by the recent case of the Reserve Bank circular on opening of current accounts. Years of “gentle nudges” which did not result in banks complying with instructions regarding credit discipline seem to have resulted in “hard shoves” involving more hands-on regulation.
Some bank borrowers have taken the legal course demanding quashing of the Reserve Bank of India circular dated 6 August 2020 on opening current accounts by banks. The Bank has since further extended the last date for compliance to 31 October 2021. Continue reading “Opening current accounts in banks”
The regulator has raised the ATM user charges. Once again. It follows a 2019 report of a Committee constituted by the Reserve Bank of India. The CEO of the Indian Banks Association (IBA) chaired the Committee and prepared the report. It had members from banking and industry stakeholders. Neither the regulator nor any depositor association was a member. Are these charges justified? Continue reading “For Whom the ATM Tolls? On Paying to Withdraw Our Money”
Regulation and supervision are much more complex than meets the eye. This post attempts to draw a few regulatory and supervisory lessons. This is against the background of a recent book by a well-known economist and former Governor, Reserve Bank of India.
A missing portrait
If one were to write the history of the Reserve Bank of India today, the midpoint would be May 1977. This was when the new Janata Government forced the resignation of K.R. Puri, the 12th Governor. M. Narasimham, his successor, has in his memoirs detailed the events that led to the resignation. After another change of government, a vindictive Puri would come back, as a one man Commission. His report faulted the conduct of gold auctions under the venerable I.G. Patel, among the most brilliant Governors of the Bank. Continue reading “Regulation and Supervision: A few lessons”