ESAF launches first Small Finance Bank in Kerala

In a bid to promote the usage of cashless economy, Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) launched its Small Finance Bank in Thrissur, Kerala.

Kerala’s Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan launched the bank. The bank is first Small Finance Bank in Kerala, reported The Hindu.

Reportedly, the newly launched ESAF Small Finance Bank will offer between 5.75 per cent and nine per cent for term deposits of varying maturities.

For savings deposits, the rates would vary from six per cent to seven per cent, based on the outstanding balance available in the account.

In addition to this, senior citizens will be entitled to an additional .05 per cent for term deposits.

The bank proposes to open 85 new branches within first year of its launch.

On its inaugural day itself, the bank received approval for its 15 branches from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

As per the RBI guidelines, the bank is required to open 25 per cent of its branches in unbanked rural centers.

 “ESAF Microfinance has a network of 285 branches in 93 districts spread over 11 states. They will be converted into customer service centers or ultra-small branches or satellite offices,” said K. Paul Thomas, managing director and chief executive officer, ESAF Small Finance Bank.

“We are planning to appoint 10,000 agents for providing the banking services at doorsteps. The agents will provide services such as account opening, banking transactions and small value loans,” said Thomas.

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