The Reserve Bank today said it may permit banks to engage any individual to act as business correspondent (BC), a move that will provide more flexibility to banks for taking services to rural areas. The central bank proposes to permit banks to engage any individual, including those operating Common Service Centres (CSCs), as BC, subject to banks’ comfort level and their carrying out suitable due diligence, the Reserve Bank said in its monetary policy for 2010-11.
Operational guidelines to banks in this regard will be issued separately, it said.
Business correspondents are persons who, besides helping rural people to open bank accounts, would facilitate in banking transactions. Their key role is to accept deposits and remit money.
Further, it said that a suggestion has been received from various quarters to consider ‘for profit’ companies (other than NBFCs) as BCs of banks. Keeping in view the ramifications of the suggestion, it is proposed to prepare a discussion paper on the subject which will be placed on its website, it said.
Based on the feedback, a final view will be taken in the matter, it added.
In Budget 2011, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said, “to reach the benefits of banking services to the ‘Aam Aadmi’ (common man), the RBI had set up a high-level committee on the lead bank scheme”.
After assessing the recommendations of this committee, and in further consultation with the RBI, it was decided to provide appropriate banking facilities to habitations having population in excess of 2,000 by March, 2012.