HDFC Bank focuses on rural banking
HDFC Bank, which earlier in May had announced the carving out of a rural banking function to expand its presence in semi-urban and rural regions, plans to strengthen its distribution network with 600 new brick-and-mortar branches and 30 mobile bank branches by March 31.
“We are a dominant player in urban and metro markets and we now want to capitalise on the growth opportunities in rural markets, where the pace of growth is expected to be more,” said Anil Bhavnani, senior executive vice-president and head of rural banking, HDFC Bank.
He was in Bengal on the occasion of the introduction of the “Bank on Wheels” van to offer banking services in unbanked and underbanked villages in the state.
Bengal will be the third state after Maharashtra and Gujarat where HDFC Bank will launch the “Bank on Wheels” service and the lender plans to have 30 such vans by the end of March 31.
The vans will offer a number of banking services, including cash deposit machines, ATM services, deposit and loan products designed specifically for rural banking customers.
“In eastern India, we already have nearly 50 per cent of our brick-and-mortar branches in semi-urban and rural geographies. With this initiative the bank will now offer doorstep services to our rural customers. We will also continue to open brick and mortar branches and plan to add branches to our existing network of branches in Bengal,” said Sandeep Kumar, branch banking head — east, HDFC Bank.
HDFC Bank has 50 per cent of its 6,800 plus branches in semi-urban and rural centres. The bank has a total of 833 branches in eastern India.