The Indian Banking sector needs at least 12 lakh business correspondents to work in rural areas to bring six lakh villages of the country into the banking arena, Krishna Mohan, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India said here today.

At present there are in all 76,000 branches of scheduled banks in the country which can cater to only six per cent of the total villages, Mohan said while inaugurating a seminar on the macro impact of micro finance organised by Andhra Pradesh State Co-op Urban Banks Federation.

He said only 12 per cent of the total population of the country can avail the bank loans. There are only nine branches available to one lakh population.

He observed that mobile banking offered by various mobile phone operators could bridge the gap between people and banking industry.

Business correspondents act as an intermediary for banks and perform functions of a bank in an area where the bank does not have a presence. The RBI had recently relaxed norms for appointment of business correspondents.

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