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Nobel Laureate Yunus Opens Ujjivan Bank’s First 5 Branches in Bangalore

Shifting its business focus from microfinance to core banking, Bangalore-based Ujjivan Financial Services opened on Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, five branches in Bangalore with Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus as the chief guest.

One significant feature that Ujjivan Bank will offer is to let its customers unlimited access to ATM transactions on its network and six free transactions on other bank’s ATM networks, making it one of the highest free transactions offered by any bank.

Ujjivan issued an IPO which was overwhelmingly subscribed in August last year and in November the RBI had given a license to set up the small finance bank. Ujjivan plans to open banking services along side its microfinance services and hopes to open as many branches in 24 states across India.

"We plan to extend the banking services to our 457 branches in 24 states across the country," said Ujjivan Bank CEO Samit Ghosh. "We started our journey as an NBFC in 2005 with a mission to empower the economically low income groups by providing them with a range of financial services, which the SFB platform enables us to do so," he added.

The bank is not planning to aggressively offer incentives to attract deposits with higher interest rates but will offer a no minimum balance savings bank account with a full range services and benefits to the unserved and underserved customers.

"We will provide a host of benefits such as door-step and paperless banking, mobile, internet and phone banking, access to biometric ATMs and Aadhar enabled debit cards," he said.

Though commercial banks offer them already, Ujjivan seeks to offer them to the underserved social segment which has not been approached by these established banks. He said their savings products have been customized for financial inclusion.

Ujjivan is planning to offer 5.5 to 8% percent interest rates on fixed deposits and recurring deposits, which is currently higher than the average interest rates offered by other banks, he noted.

In addition, the savings bank account will be equipped with biometric ATMs for cash withdrawal, RuPay debit card, phone, internet and mobile banking. The SB account deposits will accrue 4 percent market rate interest, said Ujjivan Bank CEO.

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