Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday asked banks to put in place systems and procedures with the view to becoming global players and also promote financial inclusion.

“I must emphasise financial services is vital for our economy’s resilience and Indian banks must grow in size to be able to offer services at par with the global players and must have appropriate system in place to manage growth,” Mukherjee said at a function to mark 105th foundation day of Bank of India.

“As the global banking landscape has been changing fast, I look forward to the time, not very far away from now, when Indian banks would reign among the top global brands,” he said.

These growth aspirations must drive banks’ future plans and actions with financial stability, resilience, vision and social commitments, he said.

Currently, State Bank of India is the only domestic bank to find a place in the Fortune Global 500 list, where it secured 282 position this year.

Pointing that Indian economy was on the recovery path with high GDP growth, Mukherjee said commercial banks and public sector banks in particular had performed quite well in terms of high credit growth, deposit mobilisation and profitability, apart from meeting their socio-economic commitments.

Driven by robust manufacturing, the economy grew by 8.8 per cent in the first quarter of this fiscal, the fastest pace in around three years.

Mukherjee asked all the banks including Bank of India to over-perform, to enable all the areas having a population strength of 2000, access to banking facilities by 2011 against the deadline of March 2012.

“I expect Bank of India, now to over-perform to achieve their target so that by 2011 all habitations above 2000 population get the facility of a bank and related financial services,” he said.

In his Budget speech this year, the Finance Minister had spoken of decision to provide appropriate banking facilities to habitations having population in excess of 2,000 by March 2012.

On the occasion Bank of India opened 105 branches and 105 ATMs. At the same time, the bank also introduced pre-paid gift card and platinum debit card for its customers.

Speaking on the occasion, Bank of India Chairman and Managing Director Alok K Misra said the bank had plan to reach 7,000 villages and open 1 crore and 25 lakhs no-frill accounts.

The bank expects a credit growth of 22 per cent and deposit growth of 20-21 per cent in the current fiscal, Misra said.

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