Indian Bank is in an expansion mode with plans to set up nine more branches in the Visakhapatnam zone, according to bank’s Chief Manager M. Sudhakar Reddy.

“The bank is focusing on financial inclusion to take banking to the unreached rural population,” he said here on Sunday.

The bank would be adding nine more branches to the existing 62 in the zone, comprising the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, and West Godavari.

The bank is planning to open branches at Gopalapatnam in the city, Chitrada near Kakinada, and at Tantikonda near Gokavaram in East Godavari before September.

“We are opening branches at Anandapuram near the city and Penumantra near Tanuku (West Godavari), and also at Rajahmundry, Sarpavaram, Draksharamam, and Jaggampeta in East Godavari. The new branches will be operational before the end of the financial year,” he said.

The bank has advances of Rs.2,500 crore and deposits of Rs.2,300 crore in the zone.

Mr. Reddy said the bank would set up 52 ultra small branches in villages with a population of above 2,000 and appoint business correspondents in 153 villages with a population below 2,000.

No-frill accounts

“These correspondents will open no-frill accounts and issue smart cards. Transactions up to a limit of Rs.2,000 can be carried out in the village itself,” he said.

The accounts were being seeded (linked with Aadhaar cards) for implementation of direct benefit transfer scheme, which would eliminate middlemen and misuse of money, he added.

According to the RBI guidelines, each person, after attaining the age of 18, should have a bank account and banking services should be made available even to the remote villages.

“Brick-and-mortar model of setting up branches in each village will not be possible. Therefore, these methods are being adopted,” he explained.

The zone comprises Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East, and West Godavari districts

The bank has advances of Rs.2,500 crore and deposits of Rs.2,300 crore in the zone

52 ultra small branches to be opened in villages with a population of above 2,000

Business correspondents to be appointed in 153 villages with a population below 2,000

As per RBI norms, every person, on attaining the age of 18, should have a bank account