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May, 29th 2012

                          PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU
                            GOVERNMENT OF INDIA


                                                      New Delhi : Jyaistha 07, 1934
                                                                      May 28, 2012

Following is the text of the address of the Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab
Mukherjee delivered here today at the launch of the Bank of Indias 4001st
Branch at Pangei, Imphal East District, Manipur State. On the occasion, Shri
Mukherjee also launched 1501 Ultra Small Branches of Bank of India under
Financial Inclusion programme, Apoorva-Agriculture Product Innovation Cell
and the Joint Venture ,,BOI AXA Investment Managers Pvt. Ltd.

       "It gives me immense pleasure to be amongst you all today on the occasion of
simultaneous opening of 4001st branch of the Bank of India in Imphal, opening of 1501st
Ultra Small Branch in Murshidabad and launch of BOI AXA Asset Management
Company Limited. I congratulate the Bank of India on reaching this milestone. This
occasion provides the Bank to renew its commitment to the task of nation building.

      We are now at the commencement of the 12 th Five Year Plan. It aims at
"Faster, inclusive and more sustainable         grow th" a n d f i n a n cia l in c lu s io n
t h ro u gh t h e 'S wa b h im a a n ' campaign is a key strategy to achieve this
objective. Our Banks have achieved commendable progress in providing
basic banking facilities in under banked and unbanked areas of the
country in the last two years. The Banks need to build on the momentum in
improving banking penetration for the people at the bottom of the pyramid,
especially in the North Eastern and hilly States.
I am particularly happy that the Bank of India is opening its 4001 s t Branch in
Manipur. Only 29.6 percent of the Households a va il B a n kin g se r vice s in
Ma n ip u r , a s p e r 2 0 1 1 Ce n su s d a t a , which is the lowest among all States
and UTs. W hile considering the decision to open new branches, I would
urge the Banks to specially look at the States where the percentage of
Households a va i li n g     B a n k in g   se r vi ce s     is    lo we r   than   the   n a t io n a l
a ve ra ge . T h rou gh it s S wa b h im a an ca m pa ign o n f ina n cia l in clu sio n , the
Government is addressing the policy challenge of covering the hitherto
neglected sections of population, disadvantaged because of their location.

I a m i n f o r m e d t h a t more than 64% branches of the B a n k o f I n d i a a r e
in rural and semi urban              a r e a s , p r o v i d i n g b an kin g se rvice s t o m o re
than    10 , 00 0   vil la ge s   wit h     the     h e lp        of   o ve r   38 00     Bu siness
Co rre spond ent s. Be side s B OI is the Le ad B ank in 48 districts of 5 States.
This gives the bank an opportunity to extend its                       reach in rural areas by
providing bankin g services at the doorstep on affordable cost. The launch
of Ultra Small Branches will increase th e B a n k' s re a ch a n d st re n gt h e n it s
e f f o rt s t o wa rd s in c lu s i ve growth under financial inclusion scheme.

I am pleased to know that Bank of India has taken initiatives in vo ca t io n a l,
ski l l d e ve lo p m e n t a n d t ra in in g b y s e t t in g u p 4 2 Rural Self Employment
Training Institutes which have borne positive results. Steps to nurture and develop
Credit Counselling Centres appropriately christened `ABHAY', f or providing
financial literacy, counseling and guidance are appreciable . I am told that the Bank is
now venturing into setting up of Product Innovation Cells named `APOORVA',
whose objective is to provide guidance and financial assistance to farmers
for diversifying into allied agricultural activities such as protein rich foods, flax seed
etc. which have tremendous potential due to rising income level of our people . As a
responsible Public Sector Bank, The Bank of India is admirably sharing and
shouldering responsibilities of the Government .
   In any modern economy a basic level of understanding of money banking and
financial products among its population is necessary . The lack of this understanding
has the potential of the aggregate economic gains at the level of the nation
being cornered by the financially literate at the expense of the financially
illiterate. Recent research has revealed that individuals with low level of financial
literacy have a tendency of planning inadequately for retirement and borrowing at
higher rates of interest . Thus along with financial inclusion financial literacy is an
important plank in nation building. I hope "BOI AXA Asset Management Company",
the joint venture launched today by Bank of India will facilitate investments in debt
and equity and also promote financial literacy in the country.

      Our banks have to tread cautiously on the risks confronting the banking sector

especially risks arising out of asset quality, market volatility and global down turn. One

of our major concerns is the deteriorating asset quality in the banking sector as a whole

where NPAs have grown at an uncomfortable rate in the past couple of years.

Specifically, the net NPAs of the Bank of India have increased from Rs 1945 crore

(0.91%) in March 2011 to Rs 3656 crore (1.47%) in March 2012. The return on

assets (Annualized) has reduced from 0.82% to 0.72% during the same period. The

Reserve Bank of India has recently advised selected banks to take necessary steps for

appropriate NPA management. Bank of India needs to tighten its belt not only to arrest

NPA but also to reverse the trend of asset quality deterioration through better

professional supervision.
        Indian banking sector faces numerous challenges, and ensuring customer

satisfaction is one of them. The opening up of our economy and absorption of latest

technology has changed the banking industry in delivering qualitative banking services

to the customers. Banking is predominantly a customer oriented business and good

customer service is the key to banks'                growth and stability. Prompt, effective and

courteous           customer service emanates from having the right attitude.                          A

radical transformation of attitude right from top management to the employees who

come in direct contact with the bank customer is required for improving customer

service. The challenge in the bankin g industry is to develop the right kind of

attitude to render service to the customers. I hope Bank of India is giving

proper attention t o t h e t i m e l y d i s p o s a l o f c u s t o m e r g r i e v a n c e s a n d i s

t a k i n g necessary steps to improve customer satisfaction.

     I congratulate the management and staff of BOI for their hard work, dedication and sin cerity in natio n b u i ld in g. I lo o k forward to
redoubling of their efforts in achieving greater heights in d e l i v e r i n g h i g h
q u a l i t y s e r v i c e s t o t h e c u s t o m e r s a n d emerging among the leaders in
every aspect of banking ."


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