Finance Minister in his Budget has proposed launch of an all Woman Bank in public sector. Perhaps, he may want to consult SEWA Bank, an all women bank serving women customers. It has been functioning since 1974.
The Bank works as a cooperative and has around 200 women employees. It has seven branches in and around Ahemdabad and Gandhinagar serving around 4 lakh women, mostly small vendors and daily-wage workers. Women can open a bank account with as little as Rs 5/-. The Bank promotes regular savings among the women, however small. Apart from traditional banking services, it has innovated by offering insurance solutions for life, health, natural calamity, accident, death in the family, widowhood, etc. If the customers opt for it, interest from FD is sent directly as premium for the insurance policy. The bank has developed an innovative concept of Saathi, who is regularly in touch with women customers. She is critical in ensuring proper communication with women and ensuring loan installments are paid on time among other activities. It has almost 100 saathis.
Bank has a share capital and reserves of Rs 40 crores, beside a balance of Rs 200 crores. It has recently introduced Core Banking System. It has ambitions for expansion. It plans to open branches across Gujarat and would like to be linked to 10,000 ATMs for its debit cardholders. For more information you may visit its website http://www.sewabank.com.
~ Based on a recent article in Indian Express
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