Yearly application for branch expansion must for banks

Mumbai, Aug 3 | Updated: Aug 4 2005, 06:02am hrs
Changing its earlier guidelines, the Reserve Bank of India has made it mandatory for banks to make applications for branch expansion on an annual basis, in the month of December, linking it to their overall mid-term corporate strategy for branch expansion / business growth, keeping in mind the developmental needs of unbanked regions and potential for growth available across the country.

However, for the current year, the plan may be submitted at the earliest, indicating the district-wise proposals for opening of branches (all categories) with a break-up according to population groups, said RBI. Explaining further, the RBI said, The proposals may include plans for upgradation of extension counters to full-fledged branches and conversion of specialised branches into regular branches.According to this plan, banks are expected to formulate a detailed mid-term corporate plan for branch expansion for a three-year period with their boards approval. This plan, says the central bank, should encompass all categories of branches/offices having customer contact, including specialised branches, extension counters and number of ATMs etc.It needs to be formulated on a district-wise basis, mentioning the number of branches proposed to be opened in Metropolitan/Urban/Semi-Urban/Rural areas.Accordingly, the apex bank has put forth a list of underbanked districts / states which would enable banks to plan their expansion in these areas.