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Indian retail giant plans bank

One of India’s largest retail conglomerates has applied for a banking licence.

Future Group said in a statement it has lodged an application for a Payments Bank Licence with the Reserve Bank of India through its founder, Kishore Biyani.

“The group proposes, subject to the grant of the license and the other regulatory approvals, to name the entity, NuFuture Payments Bank. The proposed Payments Bank will work towards extending the Reserve Bank of India’s mandate of financial inclusion through focusing on Future Group’s core consumer groups that include women, migrant workers, self‐employed people as well as farmers and local entrepreneurs from the group’s sourcing base,” the company said.

Future Group operates a massive 16 million sqft of retail space in 168 cities throughout India which served 320 million customers last year.

Its operations include chains of hypermarkets, supermarkets, home improvement centres, electronics retailers, department stores, foodhalls, a sportswear chain and online stores. Biyani said financial inclusion and financial services is an integral part of customer proposition of leading retailers in a number of emerging markets around the world.

“The Reserve Bank’s vision for the payments bank offers us an opportunity to bring us closer to our goal of offering more choice and convenience to Indians that help them plan their savings and consumption better and lead to a better quality of life for everyone.”

Future Group says the proposed Payments Bank will leverage its presence across the country to reach out to depositors across the country in cities as well as rural locations in Gujarat and Punjab through its retail networks like Big Bazaar, KB’s, Nilgiris, Big Bazaar Direct and rural distribution network, Aadhaar, among others.

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