labels: Bank general, UBS Warburg
RBI puts UBS licence on hold, appoints finance ministry official on its panel news
06 February 2008

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put on hold a banking licence to Swiss banking giant UBS AG, because of its reluctance to co-operate with the authorities to trace multinational money transfers - across Switzerland, New York, the British Virgin Islands and Pune - between Indian stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan and a fugitive Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

The RBI also appointed Arun Ramanathan, secretary (financial sector) of the union finance ministry, to one of its committees on the financial sector.

The committee will assist the central bank on financial sector assessment, the central bank said in a statement.

The central bank also rejected UBS deal to buy the Indian mutual fund business of Standard Chartered Bank for Rs467 crore ($118.2 million).

Standard Chartered, which is focusing on its core banking operations, said it has received several bids for its 75 per cent stake in an Indian mutual fund business.

The Asia-focused British bank has been hunting for fresh buyers for the fund operations after a proposed $118 million deal with UBS AG fell apart in December due to regulatory delays.

UBS was ready to commence its banking operations in India and had already identified a premise to open its branch, sources familiar with the developments said.

UBS is present in India through its broking and investment banking arm UBS Securities India Pvt. Ltd. It also runs a private wealth management business and an offshore unit in Hyderabad.

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RBI puts UBS licence on hold, appoints finance ministry official on its panel