Sitharaman Asks State-Owned Lenders To Focus On Branch-Level Banking
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked staff at public sector banks to be dedicated at branch level and personally connect with customers to provide better services.
People have been voicing concerns that staff at bank branches aren’t friendly, and unable to speak local and regional languages, she said at the launch of EASE 3.0 reforms agenda for public sector banks.
At least one member at a bank’s branch should speak the regional language, she said, adding banks should work at branch-level in letter and spirit of banking, which is direct connect with customers. The lenders, she said, should be responsive in lending and inform customers why they can’t disburse loans to them if they are not eligible.
But this, she said, shouldn’t be misconstrued that banks should compromise on the use of technology.
Public sector banks will focus on “smart lending” and push use of technology for facilities like doorstep facilitation of retail and MSME loans, according to the EASE 3.0 reforms agenda.
PSU lenders will provide services like “dial-a-loan”, “credit-at-a-click” and “palm banking” for end-to-end delivery of financial services, the report prepared by Boston Consulting Group and Indian Banks Association said, adding customers will be able to request loans through an app or a text message, missed call and mobile banking, among others.
Banks should also focus on customer-needs-driven credit offers like EMIs on expenses like holidays, school fees and jewellery, among others, the report said.
After recognising bad loans, public sector banks have returned to profitability with “sound financial health”, the report said. The lenders have been able to recover Rs 2.04 lakh crore in the first nine months of the current financial year, it said.