HDFC Bank to increase number of banking correspondents

In a bid to expand its rural reach, the country’s largest private sector lender HDFC Bank is planning to more than double the strength of its banking correspondents (BCs) to 25,000 by the fiscal-end, a top official of the bank said. At present, the bank has a network of 11,000 banking correspondents.

“We always strive to provide best banking facility to every customer even those in remote parts of the country. To make this happen we have till now appointed over 11,000 banking correspondents and plan to increase it to 25,000 by end of this fiscal,” Smita Bhagat, country head government institutional business and startups at HDFC Bank, told PTI.

A customer will get all banking facilities from opening of an account, fixed deposit, to payment products and loan close to his house in a rural area through the BC network, she said. The bank is looking at its tie-up with the government’s common services centres (CSCs) to expand its BC network.

It is to be noted that the bank joined hands with CSC e-Governance of Government of India in 2018 as part of its endeavour to expand its reach to the remotest part of the country. An agreement between the two aims to create last-mile access points for financial services across the country. The bank appoints banking correspondents from the village level entrepreneurs associated with the CSC. The business correspondents under this pact will also function as Business Facilitator (BF), the statement said adding that this will enable merchants, youth, entrepreneurs, farmers and women to avail loan facility from the bank.