Financial inclusion: Will leverage BCs for collections, says SBI Chairman Kumar

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on September 25, 2020 Published on September 25, 2020

Rajnish Kumar, Chairman of SBI

State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest commercial bank, will leverage its business correspondents (BC) network for collections activities, said its Chairman Rajnish Kumar on Friday.

It will also look to expand the number of Customer Service Points (CSPs) – bank mitras – for its financial inclusion vertical to 75,000 by March-end from 64,000 CSPs now, Kumar told reporters after inaugurating the relocated office of its Deputy MD and Financial Inclusion and Micro markets (FI&MM) vertical in the Capital. This office has been moved from Mumbai.

To increase its focus on its journey of financial inclusion, the bank had recently created a separate FI&MM vertical within the bank with an exclusive focus on rural and semi-urban areas to vastly improve the customer experience for the citizens in the hinterland.

Under this newly launched vertical, the bank will offer loans predominantly for agriculture and allied activities and micro/small enterprises. About 8,000 branches in rural and semi-urban areas have been identified for providing specialised services to the micro-segment, including micro-credit for small businesses and farmers.

As on date, less than 5 per cent of SBI’s BC network of 4,000 are handling collections for the bank. So far the collections are focussed on Kisan Credit Cards and indications are that the collections activity will be expanded to other products.

Meanwhile, Kumar said that relocation of the FIMM vertical office from Mumbai to New Delhi vertical will help the bank focus and improve the synergy with government agencies and functionaries. The thrust is also to improve service quality and availability of banking services for customers across all segments, he said.

To ensure special focus and smooth functioning at the local level, the FI&MM vertical will have a four-tiered structure under the Chief General Manager, General Manager, RMs at Regional Business Offices (RBO) & District Sales Hub to strengthen the credit delivery system and improve the turnaround time for quick sanctions and disbursement of small loans. The primary emphasis will be on consolidating the district-level presence, which will provide constant sales and recovery support to branches in the FI&MM Network.

The DSHs will also play an important role in strengthening the reach of Customer Service Points (CSP) and ensure improvement in the quality & availability of services rendered to customers.

Kumar also said that the financial inclusion vertical will be focussed on building bridges with communities and bring the communities connect.

He also saw a scenario when BCs will eventually sell micro insurance based on IRDA norms.

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Published on September 25, 2020
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