Govt scouting consultant to set up Post Bank of India
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Moving a step closer to setting up a banking business, the Department of Posts has started scouting for a consultancy firm to prepare a road map for the proposed 'Post Bank of India' (PBI).
The Department has already carried out a feasibility study for setting up the Post Bank of India and has invited expression on interest from consultancy firms--domestic or foreign-- to finalise the plans for the bank.
The DoP, according to an official document, "intends to obtain approval from the Cabinet and licence from RBI for creation of a full-fledged bank (PBI)".
The consultancy firm will provide inputs on issues like the organisational structure of PBI, requirement of seed money and its relationship with post offices.
The proposed PBI will provide banking services, including accepting of deposits from the public for the purpose of lending or investment.
The PBI will aim to "provide banking services with special focus on rural areas...ride on the Core Banking Solution which is proposed to be provided in all the post offices".
PBI will also become an additional source of revenue generation for the DoP, besides creating a platform for financial inclusion programme of the government.
Currently, DoP operates seven small savings schemes through a network of 1.54 lakh post offices and collects huge amounts for both state and central governments. It has over 250 million account holders.
In addition to deposit schemes, the PBI will provide loans to general public and corporates like any regular bank.
The DoP also runs a Post Office Savings Bank (POSB), the oldest and largest banking institution in the country.
There are 171 commercial banks in the country.
Of the their 93,080 bank branches, only 36.10 per cent are in rural areas and 24.76 per cent in semi-urban areas. The All India average population served per branch is 13,503.