Tata Sons Withdraws Application for Banking License in India

Tata Sons Ltd., which runs more than 1,000 companies that make cars to chemicals and salt, withdrew an application for a banking license in India, saying its current financial-services business best suits its needs.

The Reserve Bank of India has accepted the withdrawal, according to a separate statement from the central bank.

“Tata Sons has reached a conclusion that the group’s current financial-services operating model best supports the current needs of the Tata group’s domestic and overseas strategy, and provides adequate operating flexibility to its companies,” the Mumbai-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.

Companies controlled by billionaires Anil Ambani and Kumar Mangalam Birla were among among 26 aspirants for licenses to set up banks in India after the Reserve Bank invited new bids for the first time in more than a decade earlier this year. Nippon Life Insurance Co. and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. plan to invest in a bank being set up by Ambani’s Reliance Capital Ltd., and former Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Office Vikram Pandit is buying a stake in JM Financial Ltd.

Tata Sons’ financial-services business is run by Tata Capital Ltd.

Tata isn’t the first to pull its application. Videocon Group’s Value Industries Ltd. also has withdrawn, the Reserve Bank said on Sept. 6.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government is giving banking permits to tap savings in rural areas and spur credit flow to help revive economic growth from the slowest pace in a decade. The World Bank estimates only 35 percent of the country’s 1.2 billion people have bank accounts.

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