Money & Banking

BoI puts on hold branch expansion plan as customers prefer digital banking

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 09, 2020

Also, the bank mulls offering educational loans to students enrolling for online courses from reputable universities

Bank of India (BoI) has put its branch expansion plan on hold for now in the backdrop of increased digitalisation of transactions on account of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the need to maintain a healthy cost to income (C-I) ratio.

The Mumbai-headquartered public sector bank saw a 143 per cent year-on-year (YoY) jump in mobile banking users (to 45.21 lakh as at September-end 2020) and 17 per cent YoY increase in internet banking users (to 71.63 lakh).

Following an increase in the usage of alternative delivery channels, the Bank is gradually rationalising its branch and ATM network.

BoI has pared the number of branches to 5,106 as at September-end 2020 against 5,113 as at September-end 2019. The Bank has rationalised its ATM network by 114 to 5,711 between September-end 2019 and September-end 2020.

Cost-to-income ratio

“Branch expansion is on hold because of Covid reasons. We are actually looking at the entire cost structure.

“We have been able to reduce the cost-to-income (C-I) ratio substantially over the last four quarters,”said PR Rajagopal, Executive Director.

BoI’s C-I ratio has come down to 45.91 per cent as at September-end 2020 against 52.58 per cent as at September-end 2019.

 

Rajagopal emphasised: “We want to maintain the C-I ratio at a healthy level. So, we want to evaluate the branch expansion strategy.

“It is still in the evaluation stage...Going forward, we will decide whether to expand or not to expand (the branch network)...So, as of now, the branch expansion is on hold.”

BoI has converted 255 select branches into “Digi Branches” for meeting the demands of tech-savvy, new generation customers.

Loans for online courses

Meanwhile, the Bank is examining the possibility of giving education loans to students enrolling for online courses in reputable universities.

“Here we would like to evaluate and come out with special concessions for them (students),” the BoI ED said.

Published on November 09, 2020

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