In a provocative move by India’s current Minister of Finance Shri Palaniappan Chidambaran, government finance officials have proposed the transformation of their underutilized Indian Post Offices into the first-ever women’s bank in India.
The women’s bank in the country will receive an initial start-up investment of 4, 909 crore in order to help modernize the antiquated Indian Post Offices, including the refurbishment of facilities and the implementation of ATMs and electronic devices necessary for banking. The hope is that the newly created banks will inspire more competition in the Indian banking industry, adding both greater market segmentation and opportunities for growth, especially amongst women entrepreneurs.
The women’s bank in India will be run primarily by women bankers and loan officers, with each branch receiving 1,000 crore for loans and local investment. Furthermore, the banks overall goal will be to lend to women business owners, promoting greater empowerment and social mobility through local financing of projects led by women. When asked about a women’s bank in India, Bank of India CMD VR Lyer stated that, “Women in rural areas will be comfortable going to an all-women branch. It will accelerate inclusive growth and recognize women’s power in society.”
– Brian Turner