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Postal banks to be set up soon in India

Mahesh Trivedi
Filed on November 16, 2013

India Post will divide the postal and financial services with its bank branches handling the banking and financial services for which it will hire separate staff.


India Post, the Department of Posts, which has already been offering services like savings accounts, postal life insurance, Public Provident Fund, recurring deposits, pension payments and money transfer, will soon have its own full-fledged bank.

Bank of India (RBI) within a month or so when it would issue licences to the short-listed applicants.

A senior official of the General Post Office here told Khaleej Times that the PBI would provide banking services, including accepting of deposits from the public for lending or investment. In addition to deposit schemes, the PBI will also provide loans to general public and corporates like any regular bank. The first such bank with an ATM will be opened at the computerised Navrangpura post-office in the city.

These banks will begin operations phase wise and initially preference will be given to post-offices which are computerised and connected with the central server.

India Post plans to start 50 bank branches in the first year and scale it to a total of 150 branches in five years. The ground work for the banking services has already begun and currently data migration of the people having savings and other accounts with post-offices is being done.

With over 25,000 computerised post-offices all over the country-Gujarat has 1,335--and more than 150,000 branches, including 139,086 in the rural areas, the post bank project will be a boon for the man on the street.

There are around 90,000 bank branches in the country and provision of real-time banking services through postal network is estimated to triple the current banking network.

The PBI will also become an additional source of revenue generation for the department, besides creating a platform for financial inclusion programme of the federal government. Currently, the department operates seven small savings schemes through a network of post-offices and collects huge amounts for both state and federal governments from 280 million account-holders, with outstanding balances of some Rs 6,000 billion.

India Post will divide the postal and financial services with its bank branches handling the banking and financial services for which it will hire separate staff.

Sources said the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee and other government payments in rural areas could be linked through the PBI.

— mahesh@khaleejtimes.com





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