HDFC Bank looks to increase number of banking correspondents to 25,000 by March

New Delhi: In a bid to expand its rural reach, the country’s largest private sector lender HDFC Bank is planning to more than double the strength of its banking correspondents (BCs) to 25,000 by the fiscal-end, a top official of the bank said. At present, the bank has a network of 11,000 banking correspondents.

“We always strive to provide best banking facility to every customer even those in remote parts of the country. To make this happen we have till now appointed over 11,000 banking correspondents and plan to increase it to 25,000 by end of this fiscal,” Smita Bhagat, country head government institutional business and startups at HDFC Bank, told .

A customer will get all banking facilities from opening of an account, fixed deposit, to payment products and loan close to his house in a rural area through the BC network, she said.

The bank is looking at its tie-up with the government’s common services centres (CSCs) to expand its BC network.

It is to be noted that the bank joined hands with CSC e-Governance of Government of India in 2018 as part of its endeavour to expand its reach to the remotest part of the country.

An agreement between the two aims to create last-mile access points for financial services across the country. The bank appoints banking correspondents from the village level entrepreneurs associated with the CSC.

The business correspondents under this pact will also function as Business Facilitator (BF), the statement said adding that this will enable merchants, youth, entrepreneurs, farmers and women to avail loan facility from the bank.

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There are around 3,00,000 CSCs across the country.

For the first quarter ended June, the bank reported nearly 20 per cent rise in standalone net profit at Rs 6,658.62 crore on the back of healthy interest income as against Rs 5,568.16 crore in the April-June period of the previous fiscal.

Income of the bank rose to Rs 34,453.28 crore in June quarter from Rs 32,361.84 crore in the year-ago same period.

On the asset quality front, there was improvement as gross non-performing assets (NPAs) fell to 1.36 per cent of the gross advances as on June 30, 2020 from 1.40 per cent by the end of June 2019.



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