Indian Bank will open five branches in Visakhapatnam Zone by March 31, its zonal manager G. Lakshmipathi Reddy said on Saturday.

The bank, which launched a current account and savings account (CASA) drive from January 17 to 28, received RBI permission to open branches at Gopalapatnam in the city, Annavaram, Peddapuram and two rural branches at Tatikonda near Gokavaram and Tetalli near Tanuku.

The Visakhapatnam zone of Indian Bank has 58 branches spread over two Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts.

Mr. Reddy said as part of guidelines laid for cash transfer scheme, Indian Bank would have 100 per cent ATM coverage in the areas where cash transfer scheme is being implemented. The zone at present has deposits to the tune of Rs.1,973 crore and advances Rs.2,071 crore with priority sector lending of Rs.1,293 crore.

Mr. Reddy along with Chief Manager L. Dwarakanath Kumar told reporters that CASA was aimed at mobilising more from the people in savings bank and current accounts, which fetches them around four per cent interest. Due to low interest on SB and current accounts, the bank could lower interest on housing, education and other loans.

Mr. Reddy said they had recently lowered housing loan interest to 10.5 per cent and education loan from 14.5 to 12.5 per cent.

He said during CASA campaign, they were planning to open 23,000 SB accounts and 1,000 current accounts and mobilise Rs.100 crore in fresh deposits.