State Bank of India (SBI) is targeting representation in 12,421 unbanked villages by March 2012, as it ramps up implementation of its Financial Inclusion Plan.
SBI said that it had provided basic banking services to 2,012 villages with populations of at least 2,000 by the end of January and aims to cover over 5,000 villages by the end of March.
SBI said that this would take its share of branches located in rural and semi-urban areas to nearly 67 per cent.
In the last four years, SBI has set up more than 15,000 customer service points of business correspondents as well as 13,000 business facilitators, to increase its outreach.
SBI chairman O P Bhatt said: “The bank has already reached out to more than 100,000 unbanked villages.”
In January, SBI announced plans to grow its mobile banking channel – a central plank of its financial inclusion strategy – by teaming up with India’s largest mobile phone provider, Bharti.