Indian banks should open 25% branches in unbanked areas: RBI

Teejay Lanka Chairman Bill Lam (left) and CEO Pubudu De Silva

JAMMU, March 23 (Asia Pulse) – The Reserve Bank of India asked banks to comply with the prescription of opening at least 25 per cent of new branches in a year in unbanked areas with a population less than 10,000. “At RBI we have said at least 25 per cent of all the branches opened in a given year should be opened in unbanked areas with population of less than 10,000,” RBI Governor D Subbarao told a state-level conference of bankers here on Wednesday.

“I hope that prescription would be complied with (by all the banks). It should be done in consultation with state government,” the Governor further said while referring to financial inclusion and awareness drive.

Giving further direction to bankers, Subbarao said that it has agreed to take forward financial inclusion programme more meaningfully in Jammu and Kashmir.

“In this model of financial programme, we have agreed to train business correspondents for the programme,” he said.

“We have open physical branches –certainly 25 per cent among new branches,” he added.

Having conducted an outreach programme at Surara village in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir as part of its financial inclusion and awareness drive, RBI had yesterday said that