Pathanamthitta district has been ranked first in the country on Crisil Inclusix, an index that monitors the progress of financial inclusion. It is among the three top-ranking districts from Kerala finding a place on the list. The others are Kottayam (rank number five) and Alappuzha (15). All three are lead districts served by State Bank of Travancore (SBT) in its capacity as lead bank, a bank spokesman said here.

Bank branches have been opened in all villages in Pathanamthitta district. The business correspondent-model banking outlets have been opened in all sub-service areas with households of up to 1,500. There is no un-banked rural village in the district, the spokesman said. Banking penetration has reached 96.2 per cent of the population in the district.

Financial inclusion is now top agenda for the Centre and the Reserve Bank in their mission to achieve inclusive development.

The Government has been using the lead bank scheme to give a thrust to financial Inclusion.

SBT has taken several financial inclusion initiatives, such as reaching out to un-banked areas and adopting appropriate technology, to make banking services available to the poor and marginalised people.