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Union Finance Minister Inaugurated Doorstep Banking Services of PSBs & Declared EASE 2.0 2019-20 Awards Virtually

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam inaugurated Doorstep Banking ServicesOn September 9, 2020, Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman virtually inaugurated Doorstep Banking Services by Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and participated in the online awards ceremony to felicitate best performing banks on EASE Banking Reforms Index for FY19-20. The event was also attended by Debasish Panda, Secretary, Department of Financial Services and Rajnish Kumar, Chairman Indian Banking Association (IBA).

About Doorstep Banking Services

Doorstep Banking Services is a part of EASE (enhanced access and service excellence) Reforms to provide convenience of banking services to the customers by the PSBs at their door step through Call Centre, Web Portal or Mobile App at nominal charges.   The services will 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.

Before heading towards the list of awards let’s have a look on EASE 2.0 and its index.

What is EASE 2.0?

The EASE 2.0 programme was launched in 2019 on the foundation of EASE 1.0, initiated in 2018 by Government and PSBs as a PSB Reforms Agenda for institutionalizing CLEAN (Clean Credit, Leveraging data, Ensuring accountability, Action against defaulters, Non Performing Asset (NPA) recovery) and SMART (Speedy, Multi-channel reach, Accessible & affordable, Responsive, Technologically enhanced) banking for aspiring India initiated.

  •  In Ease 2.0 the reforms furthered the progress by strengthening processes and systems, and driving outcomes.

What is EASE Reforms Index?

The PSBs reform EASE agenda is tracked through an annual first-of-its-kind EASE Reforms Index to promote healthy competition and learning among PSBs. The Index prepared by Indian Banking Association (IBA) measures performance of each PSB on 140 objective metrics across 6 themes. 

  • Notably, 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.

EASE 2.0 Banking Reforms Awards for FY19-20:

The EASE 2.0 awards for FY19-20 were presented in 3 categories viz. Category 1: Theme-Wise Winners, Category 2: Top Improvers, and Category 3: Top Performing Banks

  • The awardees in these categories are Bank of Baroda (BoB), State Bank of India (SBI), Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), Bank of Maharashtra, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Union Bank of India (UBI), and Canara Bank

Here is the complete category-wise look on awards:

Category 1: Theme-Wise Winners

This category includes 6 themes viz. Customer Responsiveness, Responsible Banking, Credit Off-take, UdyamiMitra for MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), Governance & Human Resource (HR), and Deepening Financial Inclusion & Digitalization. 

  • The highest improvement seen in the themes of Responsible Banking, Governance and HR, Udyamimitra for MSMEs, and Credit off-take.

The top 3 winners in each category are listed in table below:

Rank Bank
Customer Responsiveness Award
1 State Bank of India
2 Oriental Bank of Commerce
3 Bank of Baroda
Responsible Banking Award
1 Bank of Baroda
2 State Bank of India
3 Punjab National Bank
Credit Off-take Award
1 Oriental Bank of Commerce
2 Union Bank of India
3 State Bank of India
UdyamiMitra for MSMEs Award
1 Oriental Bank of Commerce
2 State Bank of India
3 Union Bank of India
Governance & HR Award
1 State Bank of India
2 Bank of Baroda
3 Punjab National Bank
Deepening Financial Inclusion & Digitalization Award
1 Bank of Baroda
2 Canara Bank
3 Punjab National Bank

Category 2: Top Improvers (Reforms Excellence Award)

The award recognized the top three banks with maximum improvement compared to the March 2019 position.

Rank Bank
1 Bank of Maharashtra
2 (1st runner-up) Central Bank of India
3 (2nd runner-up) Corporation Bank

Category 3: Top Performing Banks (Ease Reforms Index 2.0)

Rank Bank
1 Bank of Baroda 
2 (1st runner-up) State Bank of India
3 (2nd runner-up) Oriental Bank of Commerce

Click Here for Official Link of Awardees

Major achievements by PSBs between March 2018 to March 2020

–Gross NPAs reduced from Rs 8.96 lakh crore in March-2018 to Rs 6.78 lakh crore in March-2020.

–Asset quality has improved significantly, with the net NPA ratio reduced from 7.97% in March 2018 to 3.75% in March 2020.

–There is a sharp decline in fraud occurrence from 0.65% of advances during FY10-FY14 to 0.06% in FY19-20.

–Record recovery of Rs 2.27 lakh crore in FY19-FY20 due to newly setup dedicated stressed account management verticals in PSBs.

–Number of PSBs under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) reduced to three.

–The provision coverage ratio of 80.9% is highest in eight years.

–Most PSB customers now have access to 35+ services such as IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer), RTGS (real-time gross settlement), intra-bank transfer, account statement, cheque book request on mobile/ Internet banking and 23 services such as cheque book issuance, cheque status, issuance of form 16A, block/activate debit card on the call centre. The availability of services has nearly doubled over the last 24 months.

–There is 140% increase in financial transactions through mobile and internet banking channels and almost 50% of financial transactions done through digital channels.

— Amid COVID-19, PSBs Call centers started offering services in 13 regional languages such as Telugu, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali, Odia.

–Complaint redressal average turnaround time reduced from the average of approximately 9 days to 5 days.

–23 branch-equivalent services such as account opening, cash deposit, cash withdrawal, and fund transfer made available by PSBs through Bank Mitras.

–PSBs have issued RuPay credit cards to nearly 23 crore basic savings account customers.

–The number of dedicated marketing employees has increased from 8,920 to 18,053.

–Turnaround time (weighted average) for retail loans reduced by 67% from the average of nearly 30 days to nearly 10 days.

PSBs have adopted new ways of credit, such as PSBloansin59minutes.com and Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) for digital lending for MSMEs and retail. 73% of all PSB inland bills are now discounted through online TReDS.

–PSBs have adopted digital platforms such as online OTS, e-Bक्रय, e-DRT for expedited recovery. 88% of one-time settlement (OTS) cases are now tracked through dedicated IT (information technology) systems.

–The Government has introduced several governance reforms which also resulted in increasing of Executive Director strength, and Boards are also empowered to introduce Chief General Manager (CGM) level for increased business.

Points to be noted:

–A comprehensive agenda for smart, tech-enabled banking has been adopted for FY2020-21, under which PSBs have initiated eShishu Mudra for straight-through processing of loans to micro-enterprises and digital personal loan for customers.

–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.

–Progress of PSBs will continue to be tracked on metrics linked to Reform Action Points, and their progress will be published through a quarterly index.

Recent Related News:

On 26th Feb. 2020, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had revealed EASE 3.0(Enhanced Access and Service Excellence 3.0)’ – Public Sector Bank (PSB) Reforms Agenda 2020 for smart, tech-enabled banking. It sets the agenda and roadmap for FY21 for their transformation into digital and data-driven NextGen Banking of the Future India. 

About Ministry of Finance:
Nirmala Sitharaman Constituency–  Karnataka, Rajya Sabha
Minister of State (MoS)– Anurag Singh Thakur