ICICI Bank on Thursday said it was keen on a foray into pension funds, but was awaiting the passage of the long-pending Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill.
“We are keen to enter the pension funds business and have already prepared a road-map for it. We are waiting for clarity on the regulatory environment,” ICICI Bank’s joint managing director Kalpana Morparia said.
Though employees of the Union government and 16 other states joining the service during the last two-three years have opted for the new pension scheme, pension funds have not come into being due to the non-passage of the PFRDA Bill, being opposed by key UPA ally, the Left parties.
“We are already offering pension schemes in our life-insurance business as an individual product,” Morparia said.
The government has made it clear that there will not be many pension funds but initially it is proposed to have around six to eight funds of which at least one would be in the public sector. Morparia said the structure of its pension-fund business would be decided only after the regulatory regime is clear.
“We can either set up a separate company for the business or run it as an independent division of our existing insurance company, depending upon regulatory requirements,” she maintained.
ICICI’s insurance and AMC businesses, ICICI Holdings, would come out with an IPO within the next six to nine months. ICICI Holdings was set up as a wholly-owned subsidiary of ICICI Bank early this month, with the bank approving the transfer of its investments in four companies—ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, ICICI Asset Management Company and ICICI Trust Limited—to ICICI Holdings.