This is with reference to ‘‘Making the women’s bank work’’ (Business Line, March 13).The formation of a women’s bank should be unique in its philosophy, objective and structure.Instead of taking upon itself all the myriad functions of a commercial bank — which the existing PSBs are anyway handling — the women’s bank should be really women-friendly and meet their aspirations comprehensively. It should contribute to issues such as empowerment of women, self-employment, entrepreneurship, financial education and other issues relevant to women. The name of the bank should be inspiring and chosen carefully to reflect the character of the bank.

As a 21st century bank, the bank should be driven by technology from the start. It need not embark on a massive branch opening drive. It can function with minimum number of branches, but with more ATMs and customer service/education centres.

The bank’s approach should be to reach out to its clients with the necessary network of field staff, rather than requiring clients to visit the bank.

The bank should, on a regular basis, conduct financial education classes to women clients covering such topics as operation of bank accounts, ATM operations, online banking, financial discipline, entrepreneurship and managing business. The training classes should focus on the needs of women with rural and semi-urban background, and educated women coming out of professional colleges.

The credit practices followed by the bank should be user-friendly, simple, hassle-free and fast, so that women are able to benefit by taking the loan facilities.

V. Raghavan

Chennai

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
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