The city can now boast of an all-women bank, with the Indian Overseas Bank launching its first such branch in Punjab, here on Wednesday.
Located at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Pakhowal Road, the branch has an all female staff. However, there are no added schemes or offers for women. The branch is the first of the three such planned banks to open in the state. Similar branches are expected to come up in Jalandhar and Chandigarh by month end, said JK Sandhu, chief manager, regional office, Punjab.
Notably, the branch has been in existence for a year-and-a-half now, though it was earlier operating with mostly male employees. It has been converted into an all female bank with transfers within the bank. For the uninitiated, the branch is open to all customers.With a staff of five, the small branch sees a Rs 16 crore turnover.
The move has come about following a proposal in the Union Budget 2011 to address gender-related issues and empowerment, and financial inclusion of women for which a total budget of Rs 1,000 crore was sanctioned by the central government.
Claiming advantages of such a bank over the regular ones, branch manager Shailja Yadav said this would encourage women to come to banks and that would empower them. "The atmosphere is lighter here and will help women open their bank accounts and administer their banking on their own, and not be daunted by the male staff," she added.