New Delhi, Apr 11 (PTI) Bharatiya Mahila Bank that served only women customers turned out to be a costly affair in view of its limited outreach but now its merger with SBI will help reach out to a wider clientele at the same cost.
“SBI group already has 126 exclusive all-women branches across the country while BMB has only seven,” Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
The proportion of administrative and managerial cost in BMB is much higher to have the same coverage.
For the same cost, a much higher volume of loans to women could be given through SBI, the minister said.
He was responding to a query on rationale behind setting up Mahila Bank to cater women only borrowers.
“The objectives of affordable credit to women as well as propogation of women-centric products need to be quickly achieved through a wider network and lower cost of funds which is not possible for a new bank and that is why to achieve this, BMB has been merged with State Bank of India,” he said.
In the three years since inception, BMB provided a small Rs 192 crore loans to women borrowers against Rs 46,000 crore by SBI through its 20,000 branches.
SBI has around 22 per cent of its workforce as women out of the total employees count of around 2 lakh people.
BMB was created to enhance access to financial services at affordable rates, promote asset ownership, entrepreneurship for inclusive growth and empowerment of women, he said.
With effect from April 1, Bharatiya Mahila Bank along with five associate banks of SBI was merged into SBI with the intent to create global sized banking behemoth in the country.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.