PATTAMANGALAM (SIVAGANGA DIST, TN): As part of its focus on taking banking services to villages, Indian Bank proposed to set up 1,525 ultra small branches in rural areas across the country, a top official has said.
"We will be opening 1,525 Ultra Small Branches comprising one clerk, one laptop and one Rural Development officer," Indian Bank Chairman and Managing Director T.M.Bashin said.
This would be in addition to the 1,965 branches the bank was having all over the country, he told reporters here on the sidelines of a function where Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram inaugurated the bank's branch last evening.
Rejecting the theory that rural branches were unviable, he said they played a key role in freeing small farmers from the clutches of money lenders and bringing the rural population under financial inclusion.
When asked whether there was any specific motive for opening branches in rural area like Sivaganga district, Bashin said Indian bank wanted to focuss on villages.
He said rural branches were picking up and in fact there were more advances being given through the rural banks.
In Tamil Nadu especially, the business in some branches had crossed the Rs.50 crore mark. "This is the potential. Of course it took 18 months to two years for the business to pick up."
The Ministry of Finance, Department Of Financial Services, Government of India, and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are introducing Ultra Small Branches (USBs) in remote areas.
The USB will be set up between the base branch and Business Correspondent’s (BC) location to provide support to about 8-10 units within a three to four kilometer radius. The branch office will operate in an area of 100-200 square feet and infrastructure such as a core banking solution terminal linked to a passbook printer and a safe for cash retention to operate larger customer transactions.
“Business Correspondents can operate from ultra small branches as their association with the head office will increase their legitimacy and credibility in the area and give people increased confidence to use their services” said RBI in a notification.
VASCO Data Security will provide RBI with authentication solutions such as electronic signatures. Strong measures are taken to ensure security such as an effective end-to -end VPN connection and and solution to gain access to the bank’s core banking system application in the USB. This will result in lower maintenance costs and a longer lifespan.
Tags: Reserve Bank of India, Ultra Small Branches, Core Banking System