Thursday, August 13, 2009

Andhra Bank to expand network plans to open 100 branches every year

Andhra Bank with an aim to expand its network to provide better services to its customers has decided to open 100 new branches every year.

Recollecting the initiatives taken up this year to set the bank on the ‘transformation path’, the Chairman and Managing Director R.S. Reddy informed that 121 branches will be opened by August 15 and about 100 by March 2010, besides setting up 50 ATMs.

He said, “Also, we will open 100 branches every year to ensure equitable distribution of branches across the country”.

Along with this the bank has a target of doing a business mix of Rs.1,30,000 crore by March 2010, at a growth rate of 30 per cent and Rs.1,50,000 crore by September subsequently. The bank with a view to upgrade its brand image, ‘Dolle - The Dolphin’ has been recently introduced as its mascot, to spread the clear message that the bank is friendly intelligent and responsive.

Mentioning about the impressive results attained for the first quarter, Mr.Reddy notified that the net profit witnessed an extraordinary growth from Rs.77 crore to Rs.256 crore redeploying a growth rate of 230 per cent.

“The total income grew by 38 per cent while the total expenditure was contained at 31 per cent. The Capital Reserve Adequacy Ratio (CRAR) improved to 14.75 p.c., while the Non-Performing Assets (NPA) were pegged at just 0.22 per cent of the net advances, putting the bank among the best in the country”.

While the Tirupati zone is on the edge of attaining a business level of Rs.3690 crore by the end of the current fiscal.

As for overseas business bank has signed a MoU with Bank of Baroda and Indian Overseas Bank for launching a banking subsidiary in Malaysia, having a growing economy with large Indian population.

Mr Reddy said the booming India-centric trade and the high margins are the two factors which secured the deal in their favor. The plan to make presence in Malaysia was to ensure that the capital of Rs.400 crore required to open the subsidiary will be met by the three banks.

Axis Bank to pay Rs 5.61 lakh to customer for misplacing the cheque

Axis Bank has been directed to pay Rs 5.61 lakh for misplacing cheque of Hadapsar-based building construction contractor Nilesh Pokar by the Pune district consumer court,

On May 2, 2008 Pokar had deposited a cheque for the amount of Rs 4,94,350 for encashment in his account at Axis Bank’s Baner.

On checking his account he found the cheque amount was not credited to his account therefore he gave a written complaint to the bank on May 17. Pokar informed, "Initially, the bank gave me in writing that I had an 'un-authorized' counter-foil of the cheque. Later on the bank changed its stand and again sent me a letter stating that the cheque was misplaced by their officials". He said, "The bank had received the cheque and I had the counter foil with me, which later helped in filing a petition against the bank".

Besides this bank had also informed him that the cheque was sent by Andhra Bank, Ghole road branch and Pune People's Co-operative Bank -Model Colony had also cleared the same.

Pokar’s counsel Rohan Nahar in court said, it shows clear-cut negligence on part of the bank. He added, “As Pokar had not received the cheque amount even after a year of the incident, we pleaded before the court to not just refund the amount but also pay him 12 per cent interest rate from May 4, 2008 till the bank repays the amount along with a compensation of Rs 10,000".

On the contrary, the legal counsel representing Axis bank as per the order appeared before the court only twice to get time to file a written statement from the Bank's side. After that the counsel on behalf of the bank did not appear before the court.

Sulabha Joshi and Pradip Gaikwad of consumer court panel issued orders to that the bank has to refund the cheque amount with past and future interest at nine per cent per annum from May 6 till paying the amount (approximately Rs 5.61 lakh). The order issued also stated that as the cheque was not encashed in favor of Pokar and 'therefore apparently there is deficiency in service'. Pokar informed, "While the bank has to make the payment within two months from receiving the order, I have not yet received the money after one month of issuing the order".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Corporation Bank launched MoneyGram remittance service

Corporation Bank in a tie-up with UAE Exchange and Financial Services limited has launched MoneyGram remittance service. UAE Exchange and Financial Services limited is a member of the UAE Exchange group which facilitates global money transfers in India. In the beginning the bank will offer this service through 300 branches

According to bank release in the initial stage bank has tied-up with 10-exchange houses in the Gulf for speed remittances and DD drawing. After doing tie-up with MoneyGram, NRIs will be able to send funds to their family members or relatives in India, easily and speedily from across the globe. MoneyGram International enables the consumers to safely send their money across the world in as little as 10 minutes. MoneyGram has a network of 180,000 agent across the globe located in 190 countries and territories.

The release stated MoneyGrams convenient and reliable network offers services like retailers, international post offices and financial institutions. The bank release stated to get the funds the remitter has to visit any of the agents of MoneyGram and fill-in the remittance form and give the equivalent foreign exchange including the agent fees. The form is processed according to the anti-money laundering guidelines, and then the remitter informs the receiver in India about the remittance details and especially the 8-digit reference number. The receiver in India has to visit the designated Corporation Bank branch with two security requirements – the 8-digit transaction reference number and a photo identification proof and fill-in a money received form. To know about other details and conditions one can visit bank’s website.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

South Indian Bank to expand branch network in north, west & east

South Indian Bank, Thrissur-based lender is expanding its network beyond the boundaries of Kerala fulfilling the dreams of its founders and even its brand name. Bank is having a wide network spread all over south India and is rapidly expanding its branch network in the north and in a few years will open a significant number of branches in the north, west and east of the country.

Latest the bank has opened its 300th branch in Kerala, with which the number of branches has increased to 546, along with fast expansion of network in the north. Last year bank had opened a branch in Jammu and over the past few months new branches have been started at Faridabad, Najafgarh and Indirapuram. Other than these places bank is likely to open branches at Shillong, Meerut, Bhilai and Jamshedpur, among other locations.

SIB managing director V A Joseph informed ET, “We are planning eight more branches in and around Delhi and with a string of new branches across the country in the recent past, we are now present in 25 states”.

By March 2010 the number of branches will reach to 575 after the opening up of 29 more branches but SIB is not satisfied with its current network of branches, it has made a 4-year plan which will take bank branch network to 750 by 2013. out of the 250 branches which will be opened between 2010 and 2013, around 150 branches will be opened in the north of the country, publicizing the brand name of the bank.

Mr Joseph pointed out, “We are adding branches at a quick pace, but fact remains that a vast section of the people in the country is still to have any reasonable access to a bank branch”.

As per bank’s plan, by 2013 bank has set a target of attaining a business of Rs 75,000 crore, spreading a branch network of around 750, same number of ATMs to be installed and increase an employee strength of 7,500.

Mr Joseph informed bank will continue the recruitment process by employing around 600 staffers per year leading up to 2013 to attain the employee level of 7,500 by that year.

For the first quarter of the current fiscal SIB registered a net profit of Rs 60.11 crore which has increased by 56% from the Rs 38.62 crore net profit in the corresponding period last year.

Banks loaded with requests for additional authentication as last date approaching

The Reserve Bank of India has issued directives which have made it mandatory to have an additional authentication passcode verified by Visa or MSC (Mastercard Secure Code) from August 1 for online shopping. This will in addition to the other information already on the card like name, card number, expiry date and CVV (card verification value) number.

As the date is approaching banks are receiving thousands of requests for additional authentication. Some of the banks are allowing customers to create passwords on their websites and others are sending fresh user IDs and passwords to customers via post. Some of the private banks like Citibank have allowed their customers to use net banking password as their password for online shopping transactions.

ICICI Bank spokesperson informed, ‘‘we have already started the process of making the consumer aware of the service using text message alerts, e-mails and advertisements. Having started the process much ahead, we are well equipped to implement the process fully’’.

ICICI bank has taken extra measures. At the time of generating 6-digit PIN as an additional security layer, it also asks its customer to type a message, known as personal assurance message (PAM) on the same web-page. Only customers will have PAM information. From now whenever you type your credit card number on merchant’s website, it will take you to the bank’s website where you will be required to type in PIN to complete transaction.

Prabhu Rangam, AGM (IT), State Bank of India, informed, ‘‘SBI has already accommodated the required change. Our debit cards are PIN based, so they may not require another layer of security.’’ The SBI credit card customers will have to apply for PIN.

According to industry observers currently due to RBI directive there might be decline in online transactions which will affect the growth of e-commerce industry but in few months of time it will help the industry to grow faster as it will prevent online frauds.