The blueprint of the country’s first Womens Bank is ready and the venture is likely to start off with six branches across the country by November. With an initial outlay of Rs 1,000 crore,the bank will open with six branches one each in the four metro cities,while a fifth would be in central India and the sixth in the north east. It would expand subsequently to 25 branches within a span of one year and scale up to 300 over the next four to five years.”
The expert committee that was set up to finalise the plan for the bank has submitted its report. The finance ministry is studying it right now,but the idea is to fast track everything and launch the bank by November this year… Locations are nearly finalised and the Mumbai branch will be in Bandra Kurla Complex and the one in Delhi will be opened in Parliament Street, said a senior government official..
To be set up as a public sector bank,the proposed bank will differentiate itself from its state-owned counterparts in terms of lending exclusively to women-run businesses and self help groups. It would,however,include male employees in its payrolls. We cant have it manned exclusively by women. It will certainly have men employees as well, the official said. But to cut down on hiring and recruitment costs,the finance ministry will allow lateral movement of employees from other public sector banks as well. But the plan is to keep staff at a minimum and depend more on technology to ramp up services. To start off with,it will be a small set up. So the idea is to have as few employees as possible and use technology to provide world class services, the official said.
But the name of the bank is still a mystery,with a final call likely to be taken by finance minister P Chidambaram. The proposal of a Womens Bank was mooted by Chidambaram as part of Budget 2013-14 and is aimed at fulfilling one of the UPAs key agenda of providing gender empowerment and financial inclusion. Soon after,the finance ministry had set up a six member expert committee under former Canara Bank chairman MBN Rao to finalise the road map for setting up the bank.
6 branches by Nov
The bank will open with six branches in the four metros
It would expand subsequently to 25 branches within a year and scale up to 300 over the next four-five years