RIL takes 70% stake in payments bank JV with SBI

Reliance Industries (RIL) on Friday said that it has signed a shareholder agreement with State Bank of India (SBI) to set up a payments bank joint venture.

RIL and SBI on Thursday signed the subscription and shareholders agreement for setting up a payments bank with RIL as promoter holding 70 per cent equity and SBI as joint venture partner with 30 per cent equity.

''The subscription and shareholders' agreement was signed by RIL as promoter with a 70-per cent equity contribution and SBI as joint venture with a 30 per cent equity contribution on June 30, 2016,'' RIL said in a regulatory filing.

RIL and SBI in-principle agreed to partner and explore opportunity of fulfilling the needs of the unbanked and under-banked segments by providing relevant financial services products.

The two parties had, in February, entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding to set out the principal terms.

"By combining RIL's technology, last mile reach and distribution through RIL's telecom and retail initiatives and SBI's banking expertise in offering financial services to millions of retail consumers and small enterprises across the country, the payments bank will work towards digitising payments and promoting digital savings and investment products thereby acting as a catalyst in creating a cashless society," RIL stated in a release.

The joint venture will now seek regulatory and statutory approvals for operationalising the payments bank, it added.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had, in September 2015, granted in-principle approval to RIL as a promoter for setting up of the payments bank.

RBI had, last year, given in-principle approval to 11 entities, including RIL, to open payments banks that will widen the reach of banking services and push the government's goal of financial inclusion.