Bharatiya Mahila Bank to offer special products catering to women’s needs – FM
Mumbai / November 19, 2013
“The launch of Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) is not only a symbol of women empowerment but the substance of empowerment” said Finance Minister P Chidambaram at the inauguration of India’s first women commercial bank – the Bharatiya Mahila Bank by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson, Ms. Sonia Gandhi in Mumbai.
Addressing a post inaugural press conference, the Finance Minister said only 26 percent of women in India have bank accounts and per capita credit for women is currently 80 percent lower than that for men. He said, “there is deep seated bias, at the institutional and individual levels against women. Since fewer women have bank accounts, fewer women get bank loans. Hence, the need for a bank that caters predominantly to women’s needs”. Mr. Chidambaram added that “the seed we have sown today, when it branches out and flowers, it will bring enormous benefits to half the population of the country.”
Finance Minister stated that the Bharatiya Mahila Bank will be a universal bank which will establish branches across India and offer all banking products that a regular commercial bank offers. He said that BMB would design and offer special products tailor made to the needs of women. It will cater to everybody from self help groups to lower middle class women to high net worth individuals.
Apart from the Nariman Point branch which was inaugurated in the hands of the Finance Minister today, Bharatiya Mahila Bank has six other branches at Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Guwahati. Two other branches in Delhi and Jaipur would be inaugurated in December, after the conclusion of state assembly election process there. By the end of the financial year, the Bank plans to open at least 25 branches, eyeing a presence in every state capital. The bank network will be expanded in subsequent years to reach 770 branches by 2020 covering Tier II and III cities, rural areas and unbanked areas. The Bank has drawn up an ambitious business plan to touch Rs 60,000 crores total business (deposits + advances) by 2020.
Bharatiya Mahila Bank, headquartered in New Delhi is headed by Ms. Usha Ananthasubramanian, a Public Sector banker with 31 years experience. The Finance Minister also announced the 8 Member all women Board of Directors of the Bank. The other members on the board include Chhavi Rajawat – an MBA and a sarpanch from Rajasthan, Nupur Mitra – former CMD of Dena bank, Renuka Ramnath of Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Tanya Dubash (Godrej)– Executive Director and President (Marketing) of the Godrej group, Kalpana Saroj – CEO of Kamani Tubes and government nominee Priya Kumar.
In the Budget 2013-14, the Finance Minister had announced setting up of all-women bank with an initial capital of Rs 1,000. crore. Former Chairman of Canara Bank Mr. M B N Rao was tasked with drawing the blue print of the Bank, the job he finished in a record time of two months.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram inaugurated the Nariman Point Branch of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank in Mumbai on November 19, 2013.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram addressing the post inaugural press Conference. He said the Bharatiya Mahila Bank will offer special products catering to women’s needs.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram with the Board of Directors of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank and Minister of State for Finance J D Seelam, at the inauguration of Bharatiya Mahila Bank’s Nariman Point.