Bankers take the digital path to financial inclusion
Speaking at a panel discussion on ‘New bank licences: A framework for reforms and competition in the sector’ at the FE Best Banks Awards, Nayak observed that “just like a commercial bank can’t work like a moneylender, similarly, a commercial bank would find it very difficult to work like an NBFC specialising in truck financing. I would say that the counterfactual tells you that Shriram Transport Finance is an extremely good example of financial inclusion. So, we should, at the very least, be saying that financial inclusion requires a broader set of financial corporates to actually participate in the process and it’s not even clear to me that the apex of this has to be the commercial banking system.”
According to N Sivaraman, president and wholetime director, L&T Finance Holdings, with the compulsion to open 25 per cent of branches in unbanked areas, the only business model that would work would be one that fostered financial inclusion. However, Sivaraman pointed out that banks also needed to find a way of enabling the local commerce to use banking facilities without using actual cash. “Actually, cash has been a bane in the rural areas because it increases the operating cost and the risks associated with that. If
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