Public sector banks are expanding within the country very fast. They are spreading bank branches across the country, not only in urban areas but also in rural areas.
According to new statistics, PSBs opened about 5,000 fully operational branches in the financial year 2011-12. This increased their reach to about seven crore customers in the country. Of the 5000 branches opened, about half of them belonged to just five banks, namely - State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India.
The PSBs are branching out at a rapid speed from the year 2006-09, when more than 1,500 branches were opened across the country. The next year, about 2,400 branches were set up.
At present, there are more than 65,000 public sector bank branches throughout the country.
Many banks have announced to open more branches, like, Allahabad Bank which aims to start 250 branches this financial year. The Mangalore based Corporation Bank has also announced to open 300 branches this fiscal.
Banks are opening new branches for reasons such as to acquire a ‘pan- India' presence and pressure of competition. Also, new business opportunities are cropping up with new residential colonies and industrial parks being set up in various states.
Also, banks are going out of their comfort zone to open branches in tier-2 centers ( cities and towns with a population of 50,000 to 1,00,000 people).