Are Banks in India Switching Over Back to Class Banking?

In India, ‘Banking Sector’ was primarily for Upper Class People till 1969, when Mrs.Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India nationalized major Commercial Banks to shift the Indian Banking from ‘Class Banking’ to ‘Mass Banking’.Until 1969, banks in India were concentrating only on urban centers. After nationalization banks-branches were opened in ‘semi-urban’ and ‘rural’ centers.

Some of the nationalized banks encouraged middle-class and poor people to open ‘Savings Bank’ Account with relaxed rules related to:-

  • opening cash balance,
  • minimum balance to be maintained and
  • the account opening rules involving introduction by existing Current Account holders etc.

Some nationalized banks encouraged children and students to have savings habit, by ‘Kiddy Bank Accounts’ etc.State Bank of India, offered “One Rupee Banking” facility for the urban poor in different centers in India.

Now, State Bank of India has introduced an ‘One Crore Rupees Account’ exclusively for ‘High Networth Indivuduals’ (HNI’s). The first of the kind of branch has been opened by SBI on 3rd September 2010 at Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

The ‘HNI’ Branch of SBI will make available to the Upper Class Customers financial products and services like:-

  • financial planning and advisory support,
  • forex services,
  • NRI services,
  • SBI e- tax for online payment,
  • e-invest for ASBA facility and
  • demat and online trading facility.

The ‘HNI’ Branch of SBI at Banjara Hills,Hyderabad is:-

  • Spread over 4,000 sq ft the bank has plush interiors,
  • having a luxurious Nizam lounge and a Pearl coffee bar that match the best of 5- star fare,
  • Having Ruby & Emerald Business Centres and Sapphire Conference Room equipped with latest communication facilities and
  • Having a ‘Topaz locker room’ with the attached Opal dressing room where customers can change their dress and freshen up.

According the SBI officials, the Bank has upgraded its banking services to meet the current demand as the Indian Economy has come out of recession. Already more than 50 ‘Crorepathy Accounts’ have been opened in the branch. The Bank has fixed a target to get 250 Accounts by the end of this financial year.As rightly noted by the bank officials, the Indian Economy is out of recession and growing. However, the gap between the Upper Class and the Poor is also enlarged in India in the present economic conditions.

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