All-woman bank plans to open 55 more branches next fiscal

Mar 11 2014, 14:46 IST
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SummaryAll-woman bank allows deposits from everyone, but lending will be predominantly for women.

Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB), the first all-woman bank and a new entrant in the sector, has embarked on a mission to open 55 additional branches pan-India by the next financial year, a senior official said today.

"We are going to touch a mark of 25 branches by end of this financial year, while for the ensuing FY, the target is to have 55 additional branches in the two-tier and unbanked cities," BMB's Chairperson and Managing Director Usha Ananthasubramanian told reporters here.

She was here to inaugurate the 14th branch of the bank. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had inaugurated the first branch of the bank in the presence of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on November 19 in Mumbai.

The bank allows deposits from everyone, but lending will be predominantly for women, the CMD said adding that lending to women is safe as compared to men.

"Women don't default much. Often there is peer group pressure on them," she said, adding that unlike men, women don't divert funds for other projects and this quality makes them safe borrowers.

The bank has already tied up with Tata Motors for vehicle financing. Besides, a deal has also been inked with Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICA) for girl students to study CA.

In yet another initiative, the bank in collaboration with ICA provides loan to women chartered accountants at lower rates to set up their own office, Ananthasubramanian said.

"Almost 40 per cent of CAs are women but they have to practice under men. We help them to get their own identity," she added.

The bank also plans to enhance its association with the insurance sector, while a deal with Institute of Company Secretaries is also lined up, the CMD added.

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