Timelines for Regulatory Approvals

I. Department of Banking Regulation

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
1. Private Bank Licence- In principle approval 90 days@
2. Approval to banks for acquisition/transfer of shares of five per cent or more of paid up equity share capital of the bank 90 days
3. Approval to banks for holding non-banking assets beyond 7 and up to 12 years, in terms of Section 9 of Banking Regulation Act, 1949 15 days
4. ‘In principle’ approval to banks for IPO, preferential issues of capital and qualified institutional placements 30 days
5. Approval to banks for redemption of subordinated debt 15 days
6. Approval to banks for establishing a subsidiary/joint venture/associate/making strategic investments in financial services companies 45 days
7. Approval to banks for offering activities such as investment advisory services, portfolio management services or venturing into stock broking, mutual funds, venture capital funds, insurance or pension management departmentally 45 days
8. Permission to banks for expanding the scope of para-banking activities of the bank/its subsidiary 45 days
9. Permission to banks to retain investments in non-financial services companies beyond the prescribed prudential limits 45 days
10. Approval to foreign banks having their business in India for substitution of Government / approved Securities held under Section 11(2)(b) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 5 days
11. Approval to foreign banks having their business in India for deposit/withdrawal of Government / approved Securities held under Section 11(2)(b) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 5 days
12. Appointment / re-appointment of whole time directors (MD & CEO / EDs/ Jt. MDs ) and Part-time Chairmen (non-whole time directors) in Private Sector Banks, including LABs 90 days
13. Appointment / re-appointment of CEOs of Foreign Banks operating in India 90 days
14. Remuneration, Bonus and Employee Stock Option(ESOP) of whole time directors (MD & CEO / EDs/ Jt. MDs ) and Part-time Chairmen (non-whole time directors) of Private Sector Banks, including LABs 60 days
15. Remuneration, Bonus and Employee Stock Option of CEOs of Foreign Banks operating in India 60 days
16. Appointment of Whole Time Directors Of Public Sector banks, MDs of Associate Banks of SBI and Non-Official directors of public sector banks and Associate Banks of SBI 60 days
17. Opening of branches under Annual Branch Expansion Plan (ABEP) in respect of banks for which the general permission granted to open the branches in Tier 1 centres in terms of Circular DBOD.BAPD. Nos. 54 & 60/ 22.01.001/ 2013- 14 dated September 19, and October 21, 2013 has been withdrawn 30 days
18. Shifting of sole rural branches of banks outside the centre / village 15 days
19. Shifting of rural branches of banks outside the block 15 days
20. Part- shifting of a branch of bank 15 days
21. Conversion of a rural branch of bank into satellite office 15 days
22. Merger of Sole Rural / Semi Urban Branch of bank 15 days
23. Closure of Rural Branches of banks 15 days
24. Opening of branches under Annual Branch Expansion Plan (ABEP) of Local Area Banks 30 days
25. Advances to banks’ Directors 90 days
26. Staff Incentive Schemes by banks for deposit mobilization 90 days
27. Authorisation for import of gold/silver by banks 60 days
@The timeline for issue of in-principle approval for private sector bank licences commences from receipt of report from the Independent External Advisory Committee.

Regional Rural Banks
28. Inclusion in/Exclusion from Second Schedule of RBI Act 45 days
29. Permission for opening of branches/ issue of licence for branches/ service branches/ Regional Offices 45 days
30. Permission for shifting of branches outside the locality/municipal ward at semi-urban/ urban/ metropolitan centres 45 days
31. Permission for conversion of satellite offices/ extension counters into full-fledged branches 45 days
32. Permission for opening of extension counters/ ultra-small branches 45 days
33. Appropriation from the Reserve Fund under Section 17(2) of the BR Act, 1949 45 days

II. Department of Banking Supervision

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
1. Approval given to banks and Financial Institutions for Statutory Central Auditors and Statutory Branch Auditors  
i) Public Sector Banks:  
a) Statutory Central Auditors 15 days
b) Statutory Branch Auditors 30 days
ii) Private Sector Banks/Foreign Banks:  
a) Statutory Central Auditors 30 days
b) Statutory Branch Auditors 30 days
iii) Overseas branches of Indian Banks:  
Statutory Auditors 30 days
iv) Select Financial Institutions:  
Statutory Auditors 21 days

III. Department of Currency Management/ Issue Department

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
1. Opening of currency chests (CCs) by banks The Approvals will normally be accorded within 30 days provided the construction conforms to the specifications

IV. Department of Non-Banking Regulation

Sr. No Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
SRO
1. Recognition to Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) 45 days
Non-Banking Finance Companies(NBFCs)
2. Issue of Certificate of Registration
(other than Securitization and Reconstruction Companies)
45 days
3. NOC to sponsor Infrastructure Debt Fund by NBFC 30 days
4. Change of control/ownership/management of an NBFC 30 days
5. Conversion of existing NBFCs to other categories such as Core Investment Companies-Non Deposit taking-Systemically Important (CIC-ND-SI) , NBFC-Micro Finance Institutions (NBFC-MFIs), NBFC-Infrastructure Finance Companies (IFCs) and NBFC-Factors 30 days
6 Change in shareholding pattern 45 days
7 Declaration of dividend– (In case there are special reasons or difficulties for any PD in strictly adhering to the guidelines relating to Dividend, it may approach RBI in advance for an appropriate ad hoc dispensation in this regard) 45 days

V. Department of Non-Banking Supervision

Sr. No Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
Non-Banking Finance Companies(NBFCs)
1. Change of name 30 days
2. Shifting of company’s Registered Office and request for issue of fresh Certificate of Registration 30 days
3 Issue of NOC for setting up of subsidiary/ Wholly Owned Subsidiary overseas 30 days
4 Approval for exemption from the exposure norms in cases where public funds are not accepted 30 days
5 Permission to invest in insurance companies 30 days
6 Permission to convert NBFC from Category A (Accepting Deposits) to Category B (Non-Deposit Accepting) 30 days
7 Opening of branches (> 1000 in number) by NBFCs primarily into lending against gold jewellery 30 days
8. Opening of branches by NBFCs-Deposit taking 30 days
9. Issue of co-branded credit cards and pre-paid payment instruments 30 days
10. Distribution of mutual fund products 30 days

VI. Department of Payment and Settlement Systems

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
Financial Market Infrastructure
1. Authorisation for Financial Market Infrastructure e.g. Central Counter Party, Trade Repository, etc. 120 days @
Retail Payment System
2. Authorisation for Retail Payment System (including Card Payment Networks, Cross Border Money Transfer, ATM Network, Prepaid Payment Instrument Operators, White Label ATM Operators, etc.) 120 days #
@ –The proposals are put up for approval to Board for Payment and Settlement Systems (BPSS) which meets once in a quarter.
# – Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 [Sec 7(4)] states that RBI shall endeavour to dispose of applications for Authorisation within six months from the date of filing. The proposals get approved in the BPSS meeting that meets once in a quarter.

VII. Foreign Exchange Department

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
1. a) Trade Credit under approval route 7 days
b) Post servicing of External Commercial Borrowing (ECB)/ Foreign Currency Convertible Bond (FCCB) under Automatic and Approval route 15 days
c) ECB/FCCB proposals under Approval route 30 days
2. NOC/approval for

a) Employee Stock Ownership Plan(ESOP) not covered under general permission
b) Rights Issue not covered under general permission
c) Permission for investment by erstwhile Overseas Corporate Body(OCB)
d) NOC for repatriation of share application money beyond 180 days
e) Extension for retention of share application money beyond 180 days
f) Conversion of shares from non-repatriation basis to repatriation basis
g) Approval for holding share application money in foreign currency in India/ abroad
h) Approval for registration of Foreign Venture Capital Investor(FVCI)
i) Increase in holdings in a company beyond the limit to 24 % up to sectoral cap/ statutory ceiling
30 days
j) Approval for Pledge of shares 40 days
3. Receipt of Capital Contribution 30 days
4. a)Transfer of shares from Non Resident Indian (NRI) to Non Resident(NR) 40 days
b) Gift of shares from Resident to NRI
c) Delay in reporting
d) Permission for opening of escrow account by Authorised Dealer(AD) Category – I bank beyond the period of 6 months for effecting transfer of shares
60 days
5. a) Permission for establishment of new Liaison Office(LO)/ Branch Office(BO) in India under Approval Route 40 days
b) Approval for establishing additional LO/BO in India.
c) Permission for shifting LO/BO to another city.
10 days on receipt of Government approval
d) Permission for opening LO/BO/ Project Office(PO) by entities from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Iran 10 days on receipt of Government approval
e) Permission for establishing PO in India which require GOI approval 10 days on receipt of Government approval
6. Permission to open foreign currency account in India 60 days
7. To open foreign currency account outside India 60 days
8. To open Non Resident Ordinary(NRO) account in consultation with the MoF, GoI 30 days on receipt of Government approval
9. To receive salary outside India in foreign currency account 90 days
10. For transfer/acquisition of immovable property not covered under general permission in terms of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 or the rules/ regulations made thereunder 30 days on receipt of Government approval
11. Approvals given for proposals regarding miscellaneous external payments of permissible Current and Capital Account transactions 30 days
12. a) Investment in Overseas Joint Ventures and Wholly Owned Subsidiary(WOS) (not covered by automatic route)
b) Other overseas Investment under approval route
40 days
c) Disinvestment of shares in Overseas Joint Ventures / Subsidiaries 40 days
d) Allotment of Unique Identification Number (UIN) Instant online allotment
13. Issue and Renewal of fresh AD Category Cat-I licence 30 days
14. Issue of fresh AD Cat-II licence 90 days
15. Issue and Renewal of fresh AD Cat-III licence 30 days
16. Issue of fresh licence to conduct Money Transfer Service Scheme(MTSS) business 45 days
17. Issue of first permission to undertake Rupee Drawing Arrangement (RDA) scheme 30 days
18. Approvals to take Insurance policies from insurance companies in foreign countries. 7 days
19. Compounding of contraventions of FEMA 180 days
20. Issue/ Renewal of Money Changer’s licence 40 days

VIII. Financial Markets Operation Department

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
2. Intra-day Limit (IDL) setting for RTGS members 7 days*
*The timeline indicates clear working days, excluding date of receipt of application.

IX. Financial Markets Regulation Department

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
1 One time Permission to Authorised Dealer category–I bank for running FCY-INR options book 30 days
2 Authorisation to Currency Futures Exchanges/ Clearing Corporations u/s 10(1) of FEMA 1999 30 days
3 NDS-OM membership 7 days*
4 NDS-CALL membership 7 days*
*Timeline indicates clear working days, excluding date of receipt of application complete in all respects.

X. Internal Debt Management Department

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
Bank Primary Dealers (carrying PD business departmentally)
1. 1. License for Primary Dealer Business 90 days
2. Termination of PD license 90 days
Standalone Primary Dealers
2. 1. License for Primary Dealer Business 90 days
2. Termination of PD license 90 days
3. For undertaking Portfolio Management Services 60 days
4. To act as market makers in the Credit Default Swaps (CDS) 45 days
5. Diversification of activities by PD 45 days

XI. Department of Co-operative Bank Regulation (DCBR)

A. Approvals/Permissions given by Central Office for Primary Urban Cooperative Banks

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
1. Approvals/Permissions given by Central Office for UCBs
1. Extension of Area of Operation
i) beyond adjoining districts and to the entire State of registration
ii) beyond the State of registration
iii) for multi-state UCBs
90 days
2. Shifting of branches – Request from UCBs not conforming to the FSWM (Financially Sound and Well Managed) criteria for shifting of their offices/branches outside the centre/State 90 days
3. Shifting of branches of UCBs outside the State of registration 90 days
4. Permission to undertake intra-day short selling of G-Secs 90 days
5. Permission to extend unsecured advances up to 25% of total assets subject to conditions prescribed in our circular dated April 3, 2010 90 days
6. Remission of Debt of Director related loans 90 days
7. Grant of permission for raising Long Term (Subordinated) Deposits (LTD)/ Perpetual Non-Cumulative Preference Shares (PNCPS)/ Conversion of deposits to equity 90 days
2. Approvals/Permissions given by Regional Offices for UCBs
8. Shifting of offices to different wards/municipal areas 45 days
9. Extension of time for submission of Form – V (Furnishing of details of Branches opened) 90 days
10. Change of address to same municipal ward, post issue of authorization but before opening of branch 90 days
11. Authorisation for opening of branches under Annual Business Plan and new off-site ATMs 90 days
12. Approval for opening of specialized branches by UCBs 90 days
13. Permission to extend internet banking facility to customers 90 days
14. Permission for payment of dividend 90 days
15. Change in name of bank 90 days
16. Authorization to maintain/renew NRE accounts 90 days
3. Other applications received by the Department for recommendations but approvals/permissions granted by other Departments /Organisations for UCBs
17. Approvals related to Centralised Payment System 45 days
18. MTSS 45 days
19. AD-I and AD-II category licences 45 days
20. Opening of current account/SGL account 45 days
21. Clearing House memberships 45 days
22. NDS-OM Membership 45 days
23. Permission to extend mobile banking to customers 45 days
24. Banker to Issue 45 days
25. Merchant Banking 45 days

B. Regulatory Approval for State and Central Cooperative Banks

1. Regulatory approvals granted without involving other departments/agencies

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
State and Central Co-op. Banks
1. Grant of loan/advance against the security of NRE deposits to a resident individual/ firm/ company in India 30 days
2. Disposal of non-banking assets 30 days
3. Investment in shares of other Co-operative Societies situated outside the area of the co-operative bank 30 days
4. Permission to make investments in non-SLR securities 30 days
5. Retirement of investments made in the deposits of PSUs / Companies / Corporations / UCBs / NBFCs, etc. and investments in mutual funds, non- PSU bonds – Approval of time-bound programme by Regional Office 30 days

2. Regulatory approvals involving inter-office/inter-agency coordination

Sr. No. Description of Regulatory Approval Time required
State and Central Co-op. Banks
1. Grant of banking licence 30 days
2. Permission to make investments in non-PSU bonds where prescribed criteria are not met 30 days
3. Permission to issue Long Term (Subordinated) Deposits and Innovative Perpetual Debt Instruments 30 days
4. Permission to take up insurance business and renewal thereof 30 days
5. Permission for commencing co-branded credit card business and renewal of permission 30 days
State Co-op. Banks
6. Grant of branch licence to State Co-op. banks 30 days
7. Grant of permission to open Extension Counters 30 days
8. Permission for opening specialized branches for conducting forex business, etc., and for up-gradation of existing extension counters into full-fledged branches 30 days
9. Permission for shifting of a bank branch to a different locality/municipal ward other than the one mentioned in the licence 30 days
10. Inclusion in the 2nd Schedule to RBI Act 1934 30 days

Foot Note:

  1. All the above estimated timelines for regulatory approvals of various departments (I to XI) are anticipated to be met by in most cases, but a few may exceed these timelines.

  2. If departments are likely to exceed the timeline, they will revert to the applicant.

  3. In case an applicant does not get a response within the indicated timeline, they can approach the head of the concerned department. The department head will respond with the status of the application, the reason for delay, request for additional information, if any, as well as likely time for disposal of the application.

  4. In some situations, a change in procedure or in the environment will change the estimated time for action. In such cases, the timeline for approval will be modified appropriately.

  5. The timelines given in column 3 for all above Departments (I to XI) are subject to receipt of complete information/ documents from the banks/ institutions concerned as well as receipt of regulatory/ supervisory inputs/ due diligence reports/ approvals from other regulators and the concerned Government Agencies/ Departments.


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