Public sector banks are fast adapting to digital means as they have cleared digital lending of ₹83,091 crore in the financial year ending March 2022.
As part of EASE 4.0 reforms, state-owned banks were asked to focus on digital lending, co-lending with non-banking firms, agriculture financing, and technological resilience for 24×7 banking.
The Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE) program, driven by Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), also stressed on data analytics, automation, and digitization.
Launched in 2018, EASE programme sets a common reforms agenda for public-sector banks every year. EASE aims to foster new-age reforms in Public sector banks (PSBs) to improve profitability, asset quality, customer service and digital capabilities.
The fourth edition of EASE was focussed on technology-enabled simplified and collaborative banking and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman felicitated top performing banks on various parameters, according to a IBA statement.
Bank of Baroda received the first prize among all PSBs for the best overall performance on PSB Reforms EASE Agenda 4.0. State Bank of India and Canara Bank were ranked second and third respectively.
Indian Bank emerged as the ‘Top Improver’ across all PSBs.
Canara Bank won first prize under the Institutionalizing Prudent Banking category, while under the governance and outcome-centric HR, Union Bank of India was chosen as leader last week.
Punjab National Bank was the runner-up in Tech-enabled Banking, while Punjab & Sind Bank secured second position under Top Improvement category.
As part of EASE reforms, banks achieved ₹6,597 crore of co-lending through partnerships with NBFCs during FY’22. Besides, there was on-boarding of 9.4 crore customers on mobile banking platforms and 79 per cent financial transactions carried out on mobile, and internet banking platforms.
The agenda for the fifth edition of EASE was unveiled earlier this year by the minister of finance, it said, adding, the reforms program has now been expanded into EASENext with the introduction of the three-year Strategic Roadmap Program.
EASE 5.0 will continue to focus on driving an enhanced digital experience along with data-driven, integrated, and inclusive banking across all banks, it said.
The three-year Strategic Roadmap will offer each PSB the opportunity to set its own reforms path, contextualized to its starting position and strategic priorities, it added.