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Sec 22, Banking Regulation Act 1949: Licensing of Banking Companies

Section 22 (Licensing of banking companies) under Part II (Business of Banking Companies) of the Banking Regulation Act 1949 :—

❝(1) Save as hereinafter provided, no company shall carry on banking business in India unless it holds a licence issued in that behalf by the Reserve Bank and any such licence may be issued subject of such conditions as the Reserve Bank may think fit to impose.

(2) Every banking company in existence on the commencement of this Act, before the expiry of six months from such commencement, and every other company before commencing banking business in India, shall apply in writing to the Reserve Bank for a licence under this section:

 Provided that in the case of a banking company in existence on the commencement of this Act, nothing in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to prohibit the company from carrying on banking business until it is granted a licence in pursuance of this section or is by notice in writing informed by the Reserve Bank that a licence cannot be granted to it:

 Provided further that the Reserve Bank shall not give a notice as aforesaid to a banking company in existence on the commencement of this Act before the expiry of the three years referred to in sub-section (1) of section 11 or of such further period as the Reserve Bank may under that sub- section think fit to allow.

(3) Before granting any licence under this section, the Reserve Banking may require to be satisfied by an inspection of the books of the company or otherwise that the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:-
  (a) that the company is or will be in a position to pay its present or future depositors in full as their claims accrue;
  (b) that the affairs of the company are not being, or are not likely to be, conducted in a manner detrimental to the interests of its present or future depositors;
  (c) that the general character of the proposed management of the company will not be prejudicial to the public interest or the interest of its depositors;
  (d) that the company has adequate capital structure and earning prospects;
  (e) that the public interest will be served by the grant of a licence to the company to carry on banking business in India;
  (f) that having regard to the banking facilities available in the proposed principal area of operations of the company, the potential scope for expansion of banks already in existence in the area and other relevant factors the grant of the licence would not be prejudicial to the operation and consolidation of the banking system consistent with monetary stability and economic growth;
  (g) any other condition, the fulfilment of which would, in the opinion of the Reserve Bank, be necessary to ensure that the carrying on of banking business in India by the company will not be prejudicial to the public interest or the interests of the depositors.

(3A) Before granting any licence under this section to a company incorporated outside India, the Reserve Bank may require to be satisfied by an inspection of the books of the company or otherwise that the conditions specified in sub- section (3) are fulfilled and that the carrying on of banking business by such company in India will be in the public interest and that the Government or law of the country in which it is incorporated does not discriminate in any way against banking companies registered in India and that the company complies with all the provisions of this Act applicable to banking companies incorporated outside India.

(4) The Reserve Bank may cancel a licence granted to a banking company under this section-
  (i) if the company ceases to carry on banking business in India; or
  (ii) if the company at any time fails to comply with any of the conditions imposed upon it under sub-section (1); or
  (iii) if at any time, any of the conditions referred to in sub-section (3) and sub-section (3A) is not fulfilled:

 Provided that before cancelling a licence under clause (ii) or clause (iii) of this sub-section on the ground that the banking company has failed to comply with or has failed to fulfil any of the conditions referred to therein, the Reserve Bank, unless it is of opinion that the delay will be prejudicial to the interests of the company's depositors or the public, shall grant to the company on such terms as it may specify, an opportunity of taking the necessary steps for complying with or fulfilling such condition.

(5) Any banking company aggrieved by the decision of the Reserve Bank cancelling a licence under this section may, within thirty days from the date on which such decision is communicated to it, appeal to the Central Government.

(6) The decision of the Central Government where an appeal has been preferred to it under sub-section (5) or of the Reserve Bank where no such appeal has been preferred shall be final.❞




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Notes:

The Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (Act No. 10 of 1949) was amended by various other enactments subsequently as mentioned hereunder:

- Banking Companies (Amendment) Act, 1950 (No. 20 of 1950);
- Banking Companies (Amendment) Act, 1953 (52 of 1953);
- State Bank of India Act, 1955 (No. 23 of 1955);
- Jammu and Kashmir (Extension of Laws) Act, 1956 (No. 62 of 1956);
- State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956 (No. 79 of 1956);
- Banking Companies (Amendment) Act, 1956 (No. 95 of 1956);
- Banking Companies (Amendment) Act, 1959 (No. 33 of 1959);
- State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959 (No. 38 of 1959)
- Banking Companies (Second Amendment) Act, 1960 (No. 37 of 1960);
- Banking Companies (Amendment) Act, 1961 (No. 7 of 1961);
- Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961 (No. 47 of 1961);
- Banking Companies (Amendment) Act, 1962 (No. 36 of 1962);
- Banking Laws (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1963 (No. 55 of 1963);
- Banking Laws (Application to Co-operative Societies) Act, 1965 (No. 23 of 1965);
- Banking Laws (Amendment) Act, 1968 (No. 58 of 1968);
- National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981 (No. 61 of 1981);
- Banking Laws (Amendment) Act, 1983 (No. 1 of 1984);
- Industrial Reconstruction Bank of India Act, 1984 (No. 62 of 1984);
- National Housing Bank Act, 1987 (No. 53 of 1987);
- Banking Public Financial Institutions and Negotiable Instruments Laws (Amendment) Act, 1988 (No. 66 of 1988);
- Small Industries Development Bank of India Act, 1989 (No. 39 of 1989);
- Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 1991 (No. 54 of 1991);
- Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 1994 (No. 20 of 1994);
- Banking Regulation (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 2004 (No. 24 of 2004);
- Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 (No. 28 of 2005);
- Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2007 (No. 17 of 2007);
- Banking Laws (Amendment) Act, 2012 (No. 4 of 2013);
- Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2017 (No. 30 of 2017).

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