Ad Here  
A development bank for BRICS Small finance payment banks... Needed a Banking Atlas Targets continue to be ad hoc Grows Bigger It’s a war on black money, support it. Good, bad and ugly Nothing much can happen…. Why any time money? Insatiable appetite for credit Greet Lakshmi the banking robot How okay are new banks? Ernakulam excels... All that glitters is not gold... Smart banking in smart cities Cut in repo rate – lower than expected Anytime banking to anywhere banking Stage set for Indian ‘avatar’ of foreign banks Growing volume of stressed assets… Indian customers are tech savvy Banking overhauling or reorganisation? A bank for women, by women New bank licences, at last... Governance in Reverse Gear? Payment banks have arrived Banking in Telangana One down in private sector Who is the real beneficiary? Financial inclusion vs unclaimed deposits Small is ‘more’ beautiful Two banks: their jubilees and performances Banking on Risk Rationalised Drastic decline in asset quality The collaboration suite of cyber criminals Small finance banks offer high interest rates Monetary policy continues to adopt dis-inflationary path Bottomlines shrink, bad loans rise... A new development bank rising in the east… United India Insurance - Rs 110 crore losses have been claimed till now due to floods in Tamil Nadu Bank deposits account for 46.3 per cent of household savings How ‘secure’ are the secured loans? What is the priority – mergers or NPA reduction? Perhaps small is more beautiful than big! Reaching the Unreached… Another route for achieving financial inclusion Emerging crisis Lacklustre credit expansion Why priority status? New capitals of Migrant banks Hesitancy in announcing year-end results Managing NPAs... Too big to fail and too small to sail Mega merger is on Just 660 days! Target over-ambitious... Aadhaar, niraadhaar and banking Big bank merger, bigger expectations Drop in SLR- sparing lendable resources Ferrying digital banking to Lakshadweep Merger mania haunts banks Thirty more cities seek to become SMART Holy or unholy? The paradox: clamour for the Goliath and David From lazy banking to easy banking Fund healthcare clinics in villages... Cradle of banks to a smart city... LVB- A supermarket of financial services Growing gainfully Well-lived... Capital base of regional rural banks raised Reaching out: is it slowing down? Cautious and considerate
Ernakulam excels...
Dr. D Subbarao, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India formally declared “Ernakulam as the first district in the country to achieve meaningful financial inclusion.”
ERNAKULAM DISTRICT, with its 96 per cent literacy (Census 2011) has another feather to its cap; has one of the most favourable population-bank branch ratios. The population per branch in the district is 4420 as against the national average of 13,100. 

Meaningful financial inclusion

Achieving total financial inclusion is not an end in itself. It is one of the positive steps to reach out to the unreached for facilitating inclusive development. To be functionally more meaningful, contours of financial inclusion should include easy access to banking facilities to all the households in every village. Union Bank of India, the lead bank of Ernakulam district, has begun the process by selecting Vengoor village and has specified the objectives of financial inclusion to ensure that: 

• Each household is having an operating account through which regular transactions take place;
• Each needy household is provided with credit facilities by the banking sector;
• Each needy household is provided with fund transfer facilities through banks;
• Each needy household is provided with micro insurance facilities.

According to Census 2011, the population of Ernakulam district has increased to 32.80 lakh (31.06 lakh in 2001). During this decade, the total number of deposit accounts handled by banks in the district has gone up to 52.11 lakh, up from 27.04 lakh in 2001. There has been an unprecedented expansion in the deposit accounts. When the total population has increased by 1.74 lakh, the number of deposit accounts has risen by 25.07 lakh. Based on the magnitudes of these numbers, it is possible to infer that the banks have reached the entire population of the district. Obviously, many persons would be having more than one deposit account. 

Increase in the number of borrowing accounts is, however, not as impressive as that of deposit accounts. They have increased only marginally; increasing from 6.08 lakh to 6.97 lakh as on March 2010, the latest available data.

The contributing factors

There are a few factors that have contributed to the district’s achievement as the first district to achieve meaningful financial inclusion. The spurt in branch expansion during the last decade is one of the major factors, taking banking nearer to the people. The number of branches has increased from 503 in 2001 to 742 in 2011, reducing the per branch population substantially. 

The demographic features of the district is the second factor. Urban population out-number rural population significantly. Kochi urban agglomeration alone has a population of 21.18 lakh. Kothamangalam agglomeration has another 1.14 lakh population. Over 68 per cent of the population of the district being urban, accessibility to banks is much better than that of many other districts.  

High literacy rate – 96 per cent – is the third major factor facilitating the financial inclusion.

The existence of banking facilities in the district since long is also a contributing factor in spreading awareness of banking services. Kochi had a branch of Bank of Madras since May 1862. A number of local banks were operating in this port town since the 1920s. Bank of Cochin Ltd was operating here since 1928 until it was merged with State Bank of India in 1985. Cochin Commercial Bank Ltd was functioning since 1936 until it was merged with Canara Bank in 1963. In addition, the branches of other Kerala-originating banks like Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd, Palai Central Bank Ltd and South Indian Bank Ltd also had their branches. Aluwa is the other important banking centre in Ernakulam district, where Federal Bank Ltd, the biggest bank among the old generation banks in the private sector, is operating since 1947. 

Kochi ranking 20th among the top 100 banking centres in India makes its own contribution to boosting
the number of deposit accounts of Ernakulam district. In credit deployment, its rank is still better at 12th  
Author :
Reported On :

IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236