ICICI launches 'Branch on Wheels' in Chhattisgarh
Indian private sector bank, ICICI Bank Limited, on Wednesday announced the launch of its 'Branch on Wheels' in Chhattisgarh, as part of its financial inclusion plan that aims at providing banking services in villages which are so far devoid of banking facilities.
Chief Minister of Chattisgarh Raman Singh inaugurated the 'Branch on Wheels', her.
Also present at the inauguration was Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director of ICICI Bank.
The 'Branch on Wheels' is a mobile branch with an ATM. It offers a wide range of banking products and services such as savings accounts, loans, cash deposit/withdrawal, account balance inquiries, statement printing and funds transfer/DD/PO collections, among others.
The 'Branch on Wheels' will be operated on a van. It will be stationed at specific timings of the day in pre-identified, unbanked villages at specified locations.
It is equipped with a GPS tracking system, laptops with 3G connections, LED TV, a safe, a printer, public announcement system, a UV Lamp that detects forged checks, a note counting-cum-authentication machine that identifies fake currency notes and a unique low weight ATM.
Two ICICI Bank officials and a guard will manage the 'Branch on Wheels'.
The nearest branch of the Bank will act as the parent branch of the 'Branch on Wheels', routing all the cash and transactions for it.
The 'Branch on Wheels' which has been launched in Raipur on Wednesday is mapped to the parent branch at Champa (Janjgir-Champa district) and Chirmiri (Korea district).
It will cover eight unbanked villages namely Pachori, Afrid, Sonthi and Hathnewra (Janjgir Champa district) and Barkapara, Dubchola, Sarbhoka, Sendha-Morga (Korea district).
Chhattisgarh is the second state where ICICI Bank has expanded its 'Branch on Wheels' network after Maharashtra in September 2013.
Raman Singh said, "It gives me immense pleasure to inaugurate ICICI Bank's first 'Branch on Wheels' in Chhattisgarh. This unique initiative of a mobile branch with an ATM will certainly go a long way in providing basic banking facilities to the unbanked villages in Chhattisgarh. Financial inclusion is crucial for the state and I am very happy to see ICICI Bank playing a strong role in this area."
Rajiv Sabharwal said, "ICICI as a Group has always recognised the potential of rural India and the importance of inclusive growth. In line with this approach, we have already launched 436 Gramin branches across the country to provide basic banking services in unbanked villages. The 'Branch on Wheels' is yet another step of the Bank to expand its reach to the villages which are devoid of banking facilities. "
The launch of 'Branch on Wheels' at Raipur augments the Bank's wide range of initiatives undertaken in Chhattisgarh and signifies its commitment for extending banking services to the remote locations in the state.
The Bank has a network of 36 branches in the state, including two Gramin branches in unbanked villages across 27 districts.
The Bank also operates a 24X7 Electronic Branch at Civil Lines, Raipur which was launched in June 2012.
The Bank has nearly 800 rural branches, including 436 in the hitherto unbanked areas.
In Chhattisgarh, the Bank has opened 960,741 basic savings accounts and has a network of 531 business correspondents bringing banking services to over 2,000 villages.
(Posted on 19-02-2014)