Government of India owned public sector ‘Indian Bank’ has launched its 'IB SAATHI' initiative on 16 September 2023. The 'IB SAATHI' aims at providing an integrated ecosystem for all stakeholders in the financial sector through the business correspondent route.
The IB Sustainable Access and Aligning Technology for Holistic Inclusion (SAATHI) initiative was launched by the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of the bank S L Jain in Chennai.
Under the IB SAATHI initiative the Indian Bank seeks to provide basic banking services at all centres for a minimum of four hours per day while the Business Correspondents would extend their services directly at the doorsteps of the customers.
By March 2024, Indian Bank intends to deploy about 5,000 Business Correspondents to enhance its reach and accessibility.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has defined a ‘Banking Outlet’ as a fixed point service delivery unit of the bank.
It can be manned either by the bank's staff or its Business Correspondent. At the Banking Outlet the bank has to provide the services of accepting deposits and encashment of cheques/ cash withdrawal or lending of money for a minimum of 4 hours per day for at least five days a week.
In order to promote financial inclusion and extend the reach of the banks in providing banking services to the unbanked area ,RBI has allowed banks to hire Business Correspondents. Business Correspondents are agents of banks and are also called as Bank Mitra .
RBI has allowed banks to use the services of NGOs, Self Help Group (SHG),Retired Bank officers, retired armed force personnel, petrol pump owners,and individual operating common service centres as Business Correspondents.
The Business Correspondent provides doorstep banking facilities like accepting small value deposits and providing withdrawal facilities, fund transfer facilities, sale of banks financial products like insurance products etc.
It was set up as a private sector bank in 1907.
It was nationalised in 1969 by the government of India.
Allahabad Bank merged with Indian Bank on 1 April 2020.
Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) : Shanti Lal Jain
Headquarters of the Bank : Chennai