Banking

RBI Fines Top Banks For Failing KYC Norms

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If you haven’t complied with KYC requirements attached to your bank account, your bank may have just suffered the consequences. In a serious move, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cracked the whip on some of the top banks of the country for failing the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms issued under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Both, private and public banks were not spared the monetary fine and were officially penalised by India’s apex banking authority. This is the list of banks involved and the amount being charged:

  • Bank of Baroda – 5 crores
  • Punjab National Bank – 3 crores
  • Syndicate Bank – 3 crores
  • UCO Bank – 2 crores
  • HDFC Bank – 2 crores
  • Allahabad Bank – 2 crores
  • Canara Bank – 2 crores
  • IndusInd Bank – 2 crores
  • SBBJ – 2 crores
  • Bank of India – 1 crore
  • Corporation Bank – 1 crore
  • RBL Bank – 1 crore
  • SBM – 1 crore

A number of banks also received a warning from RBI, though they weren’t charged a fine for failing norms. RBI said they were “advised to put in place appropriate measures and review them from time to time to ensure strict compliance with KYC requirements and FEMA provisions on an ongoing basis”.

RBI further added: “In respect of eight other banks…based on written and oral submissions, it was decided to advise them to put in place appropriate measures and review the same from time to time to ensure strict adherence to KYC/AML requirements as well as FEMA provisions on an ongoing basis”.

The banks under this scrutiny include the following:

  • Axis Bank
  • Federal Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank
  • OBC
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • SBI
  • Union Bank of India

The crackdown comes on the brink of RBI discovering discrepancies in following procedures to open accounts, especially rules and regulations set down by FEMA. The guidelines on which the apex bank put up an inquiry on these 21 banks, and why they decided to fine some while issuing a show cause notice for the others, is based on the degree to which each bank failed to follow procedures, including management oversight, violation of certain regulations and various internal controlling systems.

Economy

Energy-efficient home owners to pay less council tax

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Suggestions have been made by the UK Green Building Council that the changes must be funded by making owners of inefficient homes pay more. Energy-efficient homes must pay less for their council tax and stamp duty to force take-up of the government’s energy-efficiency home scheme.

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The UK Green Building Council said that the changes will be funded by making the owners of the country’s most inefficient homes pay more. An analysis was published in June 2013 on how to improve the green deal. Figures from the government have revealed that only 245 households were to finalize financing under the green deal, six months after the launch.

The scheme depicts owners of the houses take out loans with private companies, attached to their properties in order to cover the cost of energy efficiency improvements, including the new boilers and insulation. On the other hand, this has been criticized for being too complex, having high interest rates for the financing being beset by the legal, as well as software delays.

Meanwhile, low-income households already pay more for their fuel. A spokesperson for the UK GBC admitted that the changes encountered practical challenges and many older homes are yet to be assessed for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

Economy

Pepsi tested positive for traces of carcinogen

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Beverage manufacturing giant Pepsi might be in a very big trouble. On July 3, 2013, one environmental group claimed that the caramel coloring which is used in Pepsi has a concerning level of carcinogen. The extremely-high level was found even after the company assured that it will change its formula.

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In March 2013, California passed a law which mandated that companies which manufacture beverages must add a cancer warning label to the drinks which contain carcinogen. After the passing of the law, companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola assured that they would adjust their formulas nationally. When the law was passed, necessary changes were made for drinks which were sold in California.

The chemical is known as 4-Mel and can be formed during the cooking process, due to which it might be found in trace amounts in many foods. The Center for Environmental Health tested some samples, after which they found that Coke products no longer test positive for the chemical. However, Pepsi products which are sold outside California did not pass the test.

On the other hand, the company said that the FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world did not find the caramel of Pepsi as unsafe.

Business

Samsung takes over Israel-based Boxee

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South Korean electronics giant Samsung has announced that it bought Boxee, an Israeli firm which makes media streaming devices. The company said that it has acquired key talent and assets from the Israel-based company.

Samsung said, “This will help us continue to improve the overall user experience across our connected devices”. The latest product from Boxee allows subscribers to record TV shows onto its servers and then stream them to computers, TVs and smart devices ‘from the cloud’.

Earlier, the company raised $26.5 million in funds from a number of US and Israeli investors. Samsung is considered to be one of the best companies in the world, offering best smart TVs which offer access to apps, video-on-demand, and all other Internet content and do not need any separate set-top box. Informa Telecoms and Media says that in 2012, about 54 million smart TVs were sold across the globe and it is expected that the number will grow to 221 million in 2017.

Reports have said that the recent takeover might result in a good match, as despite its success, the company is still struggling to convince customers to use its services instead of the services of its competitors. In the TV industry there is a lot of optimism that consumers will want to use these kind of services in the future.

Business

Southwest Airlines offers free in-flight TV for passengers

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US-based Southwest Airlines has introduced a brand new service in its Wi-Fi enabled planes. From now on, the company will allow its passengers to watch TV for free on their personal devices while they fly on the carrier’s planes. The new service is a part of the ‘TV Flies Free’ offer which started on Monday, July 1, 2012.

For the new service, satellite TV provider Dish network will be offering customers 14 live TV channels and up to 75 on-demand shows on the 425 Wi-Fi equipped planes of the airline. The service was previously priced at $5. However, as of now, passengers will be able to stream the content on iPhones, iPods, iPads and other Internet-ready devices.

The chief marketing officer of the airline, Kevin Krone said, “Southwest Airlines continues to innovate and evolve our on-board customer experience. We started with Wi-Fi and now have expanded to television. This new offer puts free television in the hands of our customers.” The new service will be powered by Row 44, which is a provider of satellite-based in-flight Wi-Fi.

The provider first launched LiveTV on Southwest in summer 2012. For years, other airlines like Virgin America and JetBlue Airways have been offering free live TV to their passengers, except they have offered this on the back of the seats.