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RBI eases rules on opening new bank branches

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seal is pictured on a gate outside the RBI headquarters in Mumbai July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday relaxed its policy for opening of new bank branches, allowing commercial banks to open new outlets in major cities without seeking prior approval.

The announcement comes after RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, in his inaugural speech, outlined plans to do away with curbs on opening new branches by Indian banks.

Under the new policy, Indian banks will also be allowed to open a higher number of branches in top-tier cities over and above their allowed quota, if the banks meet certain criteria.

(Reporting by Himank Sharma; Editing by Sunil Nair)