MUMBAI, Feb 2 (Reuters) - India’s Reliance Industries Ltd said on Monday it had applied for a permit to operate a payments bank and that the country’s top lender State Bank of India will take an up to 30 percent stake in the venture if it wins a permit.
Monday is the deadline for companies to apply for permits for the so-called payments banks and small finance banks. The central bank is awarding the permits to further financial inclusion in a country where nearly half the population does not have access to formal banking system.
Controlled by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, the energy company has expanded in to areas including retail and telecommunication over the past years. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Anand Basu)