The lenders are working hard to make the ordinary looking savings account attractive. The banks are exploring the possibilities of introducing insurance services with the savings accounts as well as fixed deposits.
The deregulation of saving account interest rate has heated up the environment. Several banks instantaneously hiked the rates but the larger banks are a bit reluctant in doing so. They instead are working in the direction of providing add-on facilities on the savings accounts.
Many banks offered accident insurance but now a few have started offering health insurance also. To attract customers, the banks pay or even subsidize the premium of the policy.
The Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab National Bank, Mr. K. R. Kamath said, "We have a tie-up with Oriental Insurance wherein we offer royal mediclaim policy to our SB customers. This is a group insurance scheme at subsidised premium and covers people up to the age group of 80 years."
The Managing Director of State Bank of Hyderabad, Mr. M. Bhagavantha Rao said, "We are currently in talks with a few general insurance companies to offer this facility."
The Chief Operating Officer at Star Union Dai-ichi Life, Mr. Pawan Verma said, "In rural and semi-urban areas, the demand for liabilities products is typically higher than loans. Insurance schemes can be tailor-made keeping in mind the income cycle of a rural customer."