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Each family to have an account: Banking industry goal

Agartala, Jan 17 : The banking industry in India was striving towards a goal where every household in the country has at least one bank account, a top bank official said here Friday.


"Mainstream banking services would be provided to all unbanked semi-urban, rural and remote areas having a population of 2,000. Banks in India are striving hard to bring all people in the country under the banking services," United Bank of India (UBI) chairperson and managing director Archana Bhargava said.

"We are reaching out to the unbanked areas under financial inclusion plan and have so far covered 757 villages in northeast India. Banks would be extending state of the art banking services to the rural people through their rural branches," she said.

According to Bhargava, who took over the helm of affairs of the Kolkata-based bank in April last year, the UBI is entrusted with lead bank responsibilities in 34 districts of eastern and northeastern states. Out of 34 districts, 24 districts are in the northeastern region.

"The UBI has sponsored four regional rural banks (RRB) serving eastern and northeastern states. Out of the four RRBs, three are in northeastern states of which one is Tripura Gramin Bank," the UBI chief said.

Tripura Gramin Bank (TGB) posted a net profit of Rs.48 crore, the highest among the RRBs in eastern and northeastern India, during the current fiscal so far.

TGB, one of India's 82 regional rural banks, made profit for the second consecutive year.

"The TGB has achieved a net profit of Rs.68 crore during last financial year (2012-13) and earned a net profit of Rs.48 crore so far this year (2013-14). Our net profit target for this year is Rs.90 crore," TGB chairman Upendra Sabar told reporters.

Archana Bhargava said rural India today offers a remarkable opportunity for banks and financial institutions to make a difference in the lives of the aspiring rural poor.

"More than 50 percent of India's overall consumptions come from rural areas, which account for 70 percent of our population," she said.

According to Bhargava, the UBI had started its operations in northeast India by opening a branch at Silchar, Assam in 1933 and in Tripura in October 1952 by opening branch in Agartala.

The UBI's total business in Tripura is Rs.4,210 crore as on date constituting 2.28 percent of the total business of the bank. Out of which, total deposit is Rs.3,504 crore and advance is Rs.706 crore.

On Thursday, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, in the presence of Archana Bhargava, electronically inaugurated 10 new UBI branches in various parts of the state.

Sarkar urged the banks in Tripura to increase the credit-deposit (CD) ratio to at least 50 percent against the present 32 to 34 percent. The national average of the CD ratio is around 70 percent.

--IANS (Posted on 17-01-2014)

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