State bank of India (SBI) to provide banking services to additional 50,000 unbanked villages
SBI chairman OP Bhatt has announced plan to roll out banking services in 50,000 unbanked villages by March 2010. SBI has covered 53,000 unbanked villages in 2008-09. Banking sector as a whole is targeting to reach out to all 1.07 lakh unbanked villages having population over 2,000 by 2011.
SBI has decided to open 1,000 branches and 10,000 ATMs during the current financial year. Most of these new branches will be opened in rural and semi-urban areas, Mr Bhatt said.
The bank has now 11,853 branches and 13,983 ATMs. The bank has charted out massive expansion plan also in Northeast India, where banking penetration has far from adequate. The bank plans to add another 536 ATMs in the region to have a network of 1,000 ATMs by March 2010.
With the objective of achieving greater financial inclusion and increasing the outreach of the banking sector, banks were permitted, by RBI to use the services of NGOs/MFIs set up as societies, trusts, Section 25 companies, post offices, co-operative societies. Recently retired bank employees, ex-servicemen and retired government employees were allowed to work as banking correspondents (BCs)... Read more
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