Financial Inclusion and Business Correspondents

With the
objective of ensuring greater financial inclusion and increasing the outreach
of the banking sector, RBI decided in public interest to enable banks to use
the services of NGO’s / SHGs and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) as
intermediaries in providing financial and banking services through the use of
Business Facilitator and Correspondent.

Business Correspondent

Under the ‘Business Correspondent’ Model,
NGOs/ MFIs set up under Societies/ Trust Acts, Societies registered under
Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies Acts or the Cooperative Societies Acts of
States, In engaging such intermediaries as Business Correspondents, banks
should ensure that they are well established, enjoying good reputation and
having the confidence of the local people. Banks may give wide publicity in the
locality about the intermediary engaged by them as Business Correspondent and take
measures to avoid being misrepresented.
Roles of a
Business Correspondent –
 
  • Business
    correspondents are bank representatives.
  • They help
    villagers to open bank accounts.
  • They help
    villagers in banking transactions. (deposit money, take money out of savings
    account, loans etc.)
  • The Business
    Correspondent carries a mobile device.
  • The villager
    gives his thumb impression or electronic signature, and get the money.
  • Business
    Correspondents get commission from bank for every new account opened, every
    transection made via them, every loan-application processed etc.
The
arrangements with the Business Correspondents shall specify:
 
  • Suitable
    limits on cash holding by intermediaries as also limits on individual customer
    payments and receipts.
  • The
    requirement that the transactions are accounted for and reflected in the bank’s
    books by end of day or next working day.
  • All
    agreements/ contracts with the customer shall clearly specify that the bank is
    responsible to the customer for acts of omission and commission of the Business
    Facilitator/ Correspondent.

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Redressal of Grievances in regard to services
rendered by Business Facilitators/ Correspondents
 
  • Banks
    should constitute Grievance Redressal Machinery within the bank for redressing
    complaints about services rendered by Business Correspondents and Facilitators
    and give wide publicity about it through electronic and print media. 
  • The name
    and contact number of designated Grievance Redressal Officer of the bank should
    be made known and widely publicized. The designated officer should ensure that
    genuine grievances of customers are redressed promptly. 
  • The
    grievance redressal procedure of the bank and the time frame fixed for
    responding to the complaints should be placed on the bank’s website.
  • If a
    complainant does not get satisfactory response from the bank within 60 days
    from the date of his lodging the compliant, he will have the option to approach
    the Office of the Banking Ombudsman concerned for redressal of his grievance/s.