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All-Kerala Bank Employees Federation oppose banking kiosks

| Updated on: Jan 01, 2014

The All-Kerala Bank Employees Federation has opposed the move to open banking kiosks at Akshaya centres of Kerala IT Mission with a view to increasing financial inclusion of villagers.

AKBEF members staged protest demonstrations in front of the offices of the district lead banks and the circle office of Canara Bank, the convenor of State-Level Bankers Committee, to protest the “outsourcing of banking services through private agencies.”

C.D. Josson, general secretary of AKBEF, who is also the State convenor of United Forum of Bank Union, told Business Line that the opening of banking kiosks would dilute banking standards, security of the banking system and credibility of banks.

He said that in the name of financial inclusion the banks were pushing privatization and outsourcing. They were now trying to outsource basic banking service such as opening accounts and withdrawal of cash.

Canara Bank, as convenor of SLBC, is planning to have banking kiosks at Akshaya centres in least-banked areas of the State. Customers can open account and withdraw cash up to Rs. 6000 at one go. In the future, these kiosks might also advance small loans.

Josson pointed out that already the banks in northern and eastern parts of the country had a system of having `business correspondents’ in villages with under-2000 population. But this had run into a lot problems and also allegations of corruption.

However, in a highly banked State like Kerala where almost all the panchayats had at least one bank branch. There were also a large number of ATMs all over the State.

Josson said though the kiosks would be located at the Akshaya centres, the banking services would be provided by a private agency.

He said that there were lots of rural areas in the country where banking services were not available. But in the name of financial inclusion, the government and the RBI were pushing privatisation, which the bank unions opposed.

>basheer.kpm@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 01, 2014

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