Each public-sector bank will have to firm up a three-year road map based on its business priorities under a revamped reform initiative launched by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday.
EASENext, the latest and revamped version of the EASE (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) reform programme for PSBs, will have two components: EASE 5.0, which is a common reforms agenda for all PSBs, and a bank-specific medium-term action plan.
Under the EASE 5.0, state-run banks will continue to invest in new-age capabilities and deepen the on-going reforms to respond to evolving customer needs, changing competition and the technology environment, the Indian Banks’ Association, which has been spearheading this initiative, said in a statement. It will also step up focus on digital customer experience, and integrated and inclusive banking, with emphasis on supporting small businesses and agriculture.
At the same time, all PSBs will also create a bank-specific 3-year strategic road map. This will entail strategic initiatives beyond EASE 5.0. The initiatives will be across diverse themes, including business growth, profitability, risk, customer service, operations, and capability building.
In a virtual address, Sitharaman called on banks to focus on customer-first strategy and employee development. PSBs must better engage with customers to understand their needs and expectations.
Financial services secretary Sanjay Malhotra called on PSBs, all of which turned profitable in FY22, to use their improved balance sheets to substantially enhance their competitiveness.