Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004
Money & Banking
`Benefits of IT must reach the villages'
Hyderabad , March 22
CUSTOMERS of rural India must get the benefit through tailor-made technology solutions with different level of sophistication, Mr Vepa Kamesam, former Deputy Governor of RBI, has said.
"They need a human face to interact with banks and back office processing done elsewhere," Mr Kamesam said, delivering the keynote address at the centenary celebrations of the City Union Bank here on Sunday.
Mr Kamesam, who is also Chairman of IDRBT's (Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology) Governing Council, was speaking on `Technology driven Indian banks'.
Stating that information technology had re-positioned itself as the backbone for most businesses, he warned that those businesses that had failed to exploit the benefits of information technology might have to face a rough ride, "if not stare at possible extinction".
He said the core banking functions alone did not add to the bottom line of banks. "Value-added services are slowly but steadily emerging as a substantial opportunity for banks to exploit," he said.
Pointing out that falling margins was the order of the day, he said increased volumes well beyond a critical mass would help improve operating results. Technology would help in handling increased volumes at higher levels of efficiency.
Delivering the Centenary address, Mr Justice B. Subhashan Reddy, Chief Justice of Tamil Nadu High Court, said Lok Adalats proved to be a great success in Tamil Nadu in solving banking disputes.
He said disputes worth Rs 800 crore were settled in the State. "Cases involving money are being taken up mostly at Lok Adalats."
He said the onus of safeguarding the interests of customers was on the bank. Failed banks could not escape by saying that loanees had failed it. "It is no answer," he asserted.
"Bank means a trust and administrators are trustees. If there is a breach, it is a breach of trust," he said.
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