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Banks Should Adopt Customer-Centric Approach: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said banks need to adopt customer-centric approach by understanding their needs and expectations. After the soft launch of Enhanced Access and Service Excellence-EASE 5.0, the minister said technology initiatives and robust security mechanisms should be developed.

'EASENext' reforms should bring ease for customers as well as employees, she added.

Speaking at the event virtually attended by heads of public sector banks (PSBs), Financial Services Secretary Sanjay Malhotra said all PSBs are now profitable and have stronger balance sheets, and it is imperative that they leverage this position of strength to significantly increase their competitiveness.

He further said 'PSB Manthan 2022', which was organised in April 2022 with functional heads of PSBs, paved the way for the genesis of a broader and bolder program.

"EASENext - would comprise 2 major initiatives: EASE 5.0 (common PSB reforms agenda) and Bank specific strategic 3-year roadmap (based on individual bank's business priorities)," the Indian Banks' Association said in a statement.

Under EASE 5.0, PSBs will continue to invest in new-age capabilities and deepen the ongoing reforms to respond to evolving customer needs, changing competition and the technology environment, it said.

EASE 5.0 will focus on digital customer experience, and integrated and inclusive banking, with emphasis on supporting small businesses and agriculture.

Simultaneously, it said, all PSBs will create a bank-specific three-year strategic roadmap. It will entail strategic initiatives beyond EASE 5.0.

The initiatives will be across diverse themes -- business growth, profitability, risk, customer service, operations, and capability building, it added.

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