ECONOMY & BANKING: SBI staff to strike work in West Bengal

ECONOMY & BANKING: SBI staff to strike work in West Bengal – politics and banking don’t mix, so use your ATMs when you can ?!!

From Wikio.co.uk

Kolkata, July 2, 2010, IANS: The State Bank of India (SBI) Staff Association in West Bengal called a two-day strike from July 5, which would affect operations in around 800 branches and 3,000 ATMs.

The strike has been called to protest the transfer orders and show cause notices issued to three staffers.

‘Around 15,000 members of the Bengal Circle have called this strike,’ said Shyamal Karmakar, general secretary of the SBI Staff Association (Bengal Circle).

They are protesting against the transfer order of Jagat Chowdhury, the liftman who was allegedly beaten up by a higher official, a show cause notice given to Siddartha Khan, deputy general secretary of SBI Staff Association (Bengal Circle) and the transfer order of Anupam Pal.

MEANWHILE

Axis Bank targets 12,000 villages under financial inclusion plan – outreach for further growth ?!!

From The Economic Times

MUMBAI, 2 Jul 2010, 0106 hrs IST,ET Bureau: Axis Bank, the third-largest private bank, plans to cover 5,500 villages for financial inclusion by March 2011 and scale it up to 12,000 villages in five years’ time.

The bank has kick-started its first initiative in financial inclusion in villages located near Nashik (in Maharashtra) and Darjeeling (in West Bengal). The bank is looking at financial inclusion in metro cities like Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.

Financial inclusion is providing banking services at affordable costs to the weaker sections of society or the unbanked segment, which does not have any access to the formal banking system.

As of now, it is estimated that 60% of the Indian population does not have access to formal banking facility and RBI is keen on achieving 100% financial inclusion for sustaining equitable growth.

Axis Bank is looking at opening 18-lakh no-frills accounts, Rs 40 crore of deposits and Rs 10 crore of advances through its financial inclusion initiative. The 18-lakh account would include 12-lakh accounts that they have already opened for government-sponsored scheme.

Speaking to ET, SK Chakrabarti, executive director — retail banking, SME and agri, said: “The way we are looking at financial inclusion is that we have been in the banking sector for 15 years and the time has come for us to give back to the society.”

He further said the bank is looking at several low-cost delivery models such as smart card, mobile banking and point of transaction device. Axis Bank has also set up separate financial inclusion team.

It may be recalled that RBI has asked all private and public sector banks to chart out three plans on a road map on financial inclusion. The plan should cover issues like the number of branches they plan to open in rural India, the number of no-frill accounts they plan and the number of business correspondents they would appoint to achieve the target.

In its first initiatives, the bank will start opening no-frills accounts in four village blocks at Dingori (near Nahsik), covering 29 villages. “We are looking at opening 30,000 new accounts, wherein we would be giving debit card to the customer and overdraft,” pointed out SK Mitra, president — agri and rural banking.

“The bank is also looking at providing banking service to the migrant workers located in the Delhi-Muzaffarpur area,” added Nilanjan Majumdar, V-P of the financial inclusion team.

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