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16th August 2011

India Post-bank soon?

The Indian Department of posts is said to be close to finalising plans to expand financial service provisions for which it must first seek a banking licence. The department must first gain approval in principle from the government and only then can formally apply to the Reserve Bank of India for a banking licence.


There are nearly 2.4m post offices in India and the department points out that over 90% are in rural areas. It has been an objective of successive governments in India to take banking services to rural communities with limited success to date.


The plan has already got the backing of Sachin Pilot, minister of state for communications who said "It will fulfill UPA's (the governing party) agenda for financial inclusion if we are a full-fledged bank. We have a huge network and wide reach in rural areas,".


The Department of Posts also sees the advantage of the revenues the plan might bring in to help support the large branch network.