Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Sep 11, 2004
RBI & Other Central Banks
Money & Banking - Standards & Benchmarks
RBI in quality drive; to go for ISO 9000
Mumbai , Sept. 10
THE central bank is going in for a global quality certification.
Besides improving its counter-related services and currency management, the regulator for the banking sector also wants to streamline its process of regulation and supervision.
The RBI Deputy Governor, Ms K.J. Udeshi, on Friday said to begin with the apex bank will go in for an ISO 9000 certification for its currency management system.
"As the regulator, we are always laying ourselves open to internal scrutiny. We want to be certified as being comparable to international standards," she said, speaking at a seminar organised by the Indian Banks' Association on quality initiatives for the financial and banking sector.
The currency management function of the RBI aims at ensuring adequate availability of notes and coins and improving the quality of notes in circulation.
RBI performs currency operations through 19 regional offices and a wide network of currency chests and small coin depots spread across the country.
The central bank is currently putting in place integrated computerised currency operations and management system in the issue departments of regional offices and the department of currency management at the Central office.
Speaking at the function today, Ms Udeshi urged Indian banks also to go in for ISO certification to standardise their systems and processes and improve the quality of their services.
Mr Suresh Shah, partner-in-charge KPMG Certification (Middle East and South Asia), said it took more time for Indian banks to recognise the need and benefits of going in for ISO certifications.
In several other countries, it is seen as a basic need, he said.
In the recent past, a number of banks are understood to have gone in for ISO certifications, including Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, HDFC Bank and IDBI Bank. The scope of the certifications varied from general banking services related to deposits, loans and remittances and collection of cheques, to other forex and non-fund based activities. In fact, banks have become so `quality conscious' these days that a number of them are undertaking `Six-Sigma' exercises to improve their operational performance.
State Bank of India is gearing up to launch a `Six Sigma' exercise shortly and has given the necessary training to its top officials for this purpose. Other banks that recently adopted the Six Sigma include ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Citibank.
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