Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman today inaugurated Doorstep Banking Services by Public Service Banks (PSB) and participated in the awards ceremony to felicitate best performing banks on EASE Banking Reforms Index.
Secretary, Department of Financial Services Debasish Panda and Chairman IBA Rajnish Kumar were also present at the virtual event.
Doorstep Banking Services by PSBs
As part of the EASE Reforms, Doorstep Banking Services is envisaged to provide the convenience of banking services to the customers at their doorstep through the universal touchpoints of Call Centre, Web Portal or Mobile App. Customers can also track their service request through these channels.
The services shall be rendered by the Doorstep Banking Agents deployed by the selected Service Providers at 100 centres across the country.
At present only non-financial services viz. Pick up of negotiable instruments (cheque/demand draft/pay order, etc.), Pick up new cheque book requisition slip, Pick up of 15G / 15H forms, Pick up of IT / GST challan, Issue request for standing instructions, Request for account statement, Delivery of non-personalised cheque book, demand draft, pay order, Delivery of term deposit receipt, acknowledgement, etc., Delivery of TDS/Form 16 certificate issuance, Delivery of pre-paid instrument/gift card are available to customers. Financial services shall be made available from October 2020.
The services can be availed by customers of Public Sector Banks at nominal charges. The services shall benefit all customers, particularly Senior Citizens and Divyangs who would find it at ease to avail these services.
Performance of PSB on EASE 2.0 Index
A common reform agenda for PSBs, EASE Agenda is aimed at institutionalizing clean and smart banking. It was launched in January 2018, and the subsequent edition of the program ― EASE 2.0 built on the foundation laid in EASE 1.0 and furthered the progress on reforms. Reform Action Points in EASE 2.0 aimed at making the reforms journey irreversible, strengthening processes and systems, and driving outcomes.
PSBs have shown a healthy trajectory in their performance over four quarters since the launch of EASE 2.0 Reforms Agenda. The overall score of PSBs increased by 37% between March-2019 and March-2020, with the average EASE index score improving from 49.2 to 67.4 out of 100. Significant progress is seen across six themes of the Reforms Agenda, with the highest improvement seen in the themes of ‘Responsible Banking’, ‘Governance and HR’, ‘PSBs as Udyamimitra for MSMEs’, and ‘Credit off-take’.
PSBs have adopted tech-enabled, smart banking in all areas, setting up retail and MSME Loan Management Systems for reduced loan turnaround time and PSB loans in 59 minutes and TReDS for digital lending. PSBs have instituted real-time visibility to retail and MSME customers on the status of their loans. Most branch-based services are now accessible from home and mobile, including in local languages.
EASE Reforms Index has equipped Boards and leadership for effective governance, instituted risk appetite frameworks, created technology- and data-driven risk assessment and prudential underwriting and pricing systems, introduced Early Warning Signals (EWS) systems and specialised monitoring for time-bound action in respect of stress, put in place focussed recovery arrangements, and established outcome-centric HR systems.
Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, and erstwhile Oriental Bank of Commerce were felicitated for being the top three (in that order) in the ‘Top Performing Banks’ category according to the EASE 2.0 Index Results. Bank of Maharashtra, Central Bank of India &erstwhile Corporation Bank were awarded in the ‘Top Improvers’ category basis EASE 2.0 Index. Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India, and Canara Bank were also recognized for outstanding performance in select themes.
Like in the previous year, progress made by PSBs was tracked quarterly through a published EASE Reforms Index leading up to the annual review. In addition to the inclusion of the EASE Reforms Index in the evaluation of Whole Time Directors of PSBs, it has now been made part of the annual appraisal of PSB leadership up to two levels below the Whole Time Directors.
The Index measures the performance of each PSB on 120+objective metrics across six themes. It provides all PSBs a comparative evaluation showing where banks stand vis-à-vis benchmarks and peers on the Reforms Agenda. The Index follows a fully transparent scoring methodology, which enables banks to identify precisely their strengths as well as areas for improvement. The goal is to continue driving change by spurring healthy competition among PSBs and by encouraging them to learn from each other.