The country's leading private sector bank, ICICI Bank, has opened about 101 ‘Gramin' branches or branches in rural, unbanked regions in 6 states across the country.
The bank plans to reach out to its rural customers through a rural branch network of 400 branches and 5000 service points. Both of these are expected to reach out to 10,000 and more villages throughout the country.
The services offered by the ‘Gramin' branches include basic banking facilities like savings account, fixed deposits, recurring deposits, remittances, Kisan credit cards, credit cards and loans for tractors. The bank also plans to service each area's business correspondents. Also, these branches will be operational for 6 days in a week.
The new branches were inaugurated in 19 districts across 6 states such as Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Mr. K.C. Chakrabarty who inaugurated one such branch said, "While the task of bringing the 1.2 billion population within the fold of banking is indeed daunting, it is as much an opportunity for the banks. I feel that ‘brick and mortar' branches, as delivery point for banking services, would continue to play a critical role for at least next 20 years."
On the matter, the Executive Director, ICICI Bank said, "ICICI Bank has also opened close to 2 million ‘no frill' savings accounts this year taking the total number to around 12 million ‘no frills' accounts."