Even while many of the advanced world economies have been feeling the pinch arising out of the downturn, the district is attracting substantial deposits.

With over 830 branches of various banks spread across the district, Ernakulam remains one of the top destinations for the banking sector. Being the commercial hub of the State, the district has the presence of almost all banks in the public and private sectors, including foreign banks, and most of them are doing good business. Various banks are on a mission to add more customers under a targeted scheme to declare Ernakulam as a fully-banked district. The declaration is to be made on November 1.

Even while many of the advanced world economies have been feeling the pinch arising out of the downturn, the district is attracting substantial deposits.

Nevertheless, the growth rate has shown signs of slowdown, according to banking sources. The total deposits as on March 31 this year amounted to Rs.40,465 crore. The deposits were to the tune of Rs.34,134 crore a year ago. With a large number of non-resident Indians hailing from the district, the NRI deposits in the district crossed Rs.6,400 crore as on March 31, 2012, banking sources said.

The district lead bank, Union Bank of India, has been nurturing the goal of receiving the tag of 100 per cent banked district for quite some time. “We are hopeful of achieving the target within the stipulated time,” says Jayaprakash, the lead district manager, Union Bank of India. The three panchayats of Mudakkuzha, Nellikkuzhy and Chellanam have been identified for undertaking the intensive campaign to have every family in the banking services net, with at least one member of a family holding a savings bank account.

The campaign in Mudakkuzha last week was successful, with about 700 people getting enrolled. Banking personnel will visit Chellanam next week for a similar exercise there, Mr. Jayaprakash said.

The Ernakulam District Cooperative Bank Limited had been doing a variety of activities to ensure that the banking services were extended to every nook and corner of the district. Mobile banking and ATM services were among a slew of technologically advanced banking services launched by the bank. The bank deposits grew by 20.88 per cent last year, with the deposits touching Rs.3,630.65 crore as on March 31, 2012. The bank has 54 branches and two extension counters in the district, a senior official of the bank said.

Federal Bank, one of the fastest growing private banks in the country, with its headquarters at Aluva, has been adopting new strategies to expand its network as well as services. The bank has been opening 3 new branches on an average every month in Ernakulam Zone in recent months, which indicates the kind of growth the district is witnessing. The Ernakulam zone of the bank has over 150 branches. South Indian Bank is another bank which has been extending its services in the bank in a systematic manner and recording high growth.

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