Private lender HDFC Bank on Sunday announced that it will double its rural reach to 2 lakh villages in the next 18-24 months.
The bank plans this expansion through a combination of branch network, business correspondents, business facilitators, CSC partners, virtual relationship management and digital outreach platforms.
This will increase the bank’s rural outreach to about a third of the country’s villages, the bank said in a statement.
HDFC Bank currently offers its products and services to MSMEs in over 550 districts. The bank offers banking services to 100,000 villages and it aims to double this to 2,00,000 villages.
The lender also said that as part of this plan it also plans to hire 2,500 people in the next 6 months.
Commenting on the bank’s rural expansion strategy, Rahul Shukla, Group Head – Commercial and Rural Banking, HDFC Bank, said: “India’s rural and semi-urban markets are under-served in credit extension. They present sustainable long-term growth opportunities for the Indian banking system. Going forward, we dream of making ourselves accessible in every pin code.”
The bank will offer its traditional products and services as well as new ones in rural areas. It already offers customised offerings such as pre- and post-harvest crop loans, two-wheeler and auto loans, loans against gold jewellery, and other curated loan products in unbanked and under-banked geographies.
“Government of India through a variety of schemes is transforming rural economics. We believe in following the direction, as a responsible leader in banking and financial services space, by making best-in-class banking products and services accessible to all sections of the society. Our digital initiatives will play a big role in deepening our penetration in the remotest corners of India and help us extend credit to those who have remained financially excluded despite the progress of our nation,” Shukla added.
First Published: IST