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Former Citibanker, top executive from Bharti Enterprise are among banking license applicants

Former Citibanker Pankaj Vaish and Bharti Enterprises vice-chairman Akhil Kumar Gupta are believed to be among the applicants for universal bank and small finance bank licenses. Reserve Bank of India on Thursday released a list of four applicants each for both categories. The list includes the names of Vaish and Gupta while the central bank did not specify their details.

UAE Exchange & Financial Services, The Repco Bank and Chaitanya India Fin Credit are also on the list for universal banking license applicants, RBI said. UAE Exchange was the first to apply for the license way back in 2017 when RBI made the process on-tap. On the other hand, VSoft Technologies, Calicut City Service Co-operative Bank and Dvara Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services have applied for a small finance bank license to date.

It could not be confirmed immediately Vaish is the same person who is the chief financial officer with New York-based PV Capital Management. PV Capital’s Vaish was earlier managing director for markets vertical in India, Mexico and the UK, according to his social media posts. Gupta, the vice chairman at Bharti Enterprises Sources, has applied for the license in his personal capacity, people familiar with the matter said. No official confirmation from him or Bharti Enterprises was available till press time.

Both the licenses are now available ‘on tap’. RBI released the names of applicants saying that these applications have been received so far. Last month, RBI formed a five-member standing external advisory committee under former deputy governor Shyamala Gopinath for evaluating the applications.

RBI’s central board director Revathy Iyer, former executive director B Mahapatra, former Canara Bank chairman TN Manoharan, former State Bank of India managing director Hemant G Contractor are members of the committee.

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