Inaugurating India's first all women's bank in Mumbai, Finance minister P Chidambaram said that the Bhartiya Mahila Bank is not a symbol of women empowerment but the substance of empowerment and will provide services predominantly to women and self-help groups.
Chidambaram said that only 26 percent of women in India have bank accounts and per capita credit for women is currently 8 percent lower than that for men.
With the launch of the all-women's bank, Chidambaram said the board of directors will include eight women.
The bank will cater to everybody from self help groups to lower middle class women to high net worth individuals and will offer all services that other commercial banks do.The all-women's bank will focus on centres where working women population is significant.
Initially, the bank will open branches across the country, but will expand overseas in due course, said Chidambaram.
"Bhartiya Mahila Bank will be a universal bankwhich will establish branches across India and in due course some branches abroad," he said.
The credit growth is expected to be at a compounded annual growth rate of 16.5 pe cent during the 2010-2030, while the deposit growth is expected to stay at 14.6 per cent for the 20 years period," Chidamabarm said.
Sonia Gandhi, Congress President said the bank will mainly serve women andto businesses which are either managed by or make products for women.
The Bharatiya Mahila Bank will accept deposits as well as give loans from day one. There will also be emphasis on funding for skills developments to help in economic activity. Moreover, the products will be designed in a manner to give a slight concession on loan rates to women.
Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in his budget speech earlier this year had announced the formation of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank with an initial capital of Rs 1,000 crore." Today I have fulfilled that promise," he said.
Bhartiya Mahila Bank will be a unique financial institution and will pre-dominantly be run by women, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who along with Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the bank.
Singh also congratulated Chidambaram for making Bharatiya Mahila Bank operational in such a short span of time.
The government has targeted setting up of 25 such branches across the country by March 31, 2014. The first branches are opening on the birth anniversary of late prime minister Indira Gandhi. Apart from the Nariman Point branch in Mumbai, otherbranches that would become operational today include Guwahati, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Ahmedabad. Two more branches will open by 5 December.
According to reports, the bank will have 39 branches (including mobile and satellite branches) and 127 ATMs by the end of the first year of its operations. It will reportedly have 33,299 customer accounts by the end of the first year.
Apart from directrecruitment, the lender is also banking on lateral recruitment to hire senior professionals. The senior-level hires will come from various public sector lenders.
According to a circular by a Delhi-based public sector bank, the Bharatiya Mahila Bank had sought 125 employees for a period of three years. "While men could also apply, preference would be given to women," the circular read.
The bank has a 7-year ramp up plan and is being headed by Usha Ananthasubramanian.In a career spanning over 31 years, she has worked in various positions in banking and allied areas and before joining BMB, she was executive director with Punjab National Bank.
The other members on the board include Chhavi Rajawat - a sarpanch from Rajasthan, Nupur Mitra - ex-CMD of Dena bank, Renuka Ramnath of Multiples Alternate Asset Management, MBN Rao - Ex-CMD of Canara Bank, Tanya Dubash - Executive Director and President (Marketing) of the Godrej group, Kalpana Saroj - CEO of Kamani Tubes and government nominee Priya Kumar.
Chidambaram also the bankwill address gender related issues and design a lot of special products for women. For instance, the bank will offer a higher rate of interest on savings accounts.We are looking to give 4.5% on savings accounts up to Rs.1 lakh and 5% for above Rs1 lakh to encourage more savings," Ananthasubramania said today.
It will create more job opportunities for women and will pay special attention to rural women.
Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 00:10 AM