The Bharatiya Mahila Bank will cater to all segments of women and lend support to self-help groups too

Introducing an array of products for women empowerment, the Thiruvananthapuram branch of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank started functioning in the city on Monday.

The 13th branch, headed by B.R. Jayasree, will lay accent on bettering the lot of women. The bank has an array of products, ranging from loans for kitchen modernisation to setting up of beauty parlours, catering units and other such ventures that would help women become self-sufficient.

This was in addition to all regular financial services offered by other commercial banks in the country.

Target group

The bank will cater to all segments of women. It will lend support to self-help groups too. Each member of the group will be eligible for a loan of Rs.50,000. The bank offers collateral free loan up to Rs.1 crore by covering it under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises. Those availing themselves of loans in this category will have to pay a 0.1 per cent additional premium. Housing and other loans will be provided at concessional rates to women.

Senior staff from various public sector banks have been drawn to work on deputation in the mahila bank. Hence it will be an integration of various banking cultures. It has been proposed to start mobile banking too in a big way.

The bank was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on November 19 last year. The bank headed by Usha Ananthasubramanian has only women on the director board. The bank has branches in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Guwahati, Lucknow, Delhi and Indore too. The bank has entered into an agreement with New India Assurance Company Limited for providing general insurance products and also designed unique products for women.

Member of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore Aswathy Tirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi inaugurated the branch at Kamaleswaram in the city.

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