ICICI Bank, India’s second largest lender, is planning to open 400 new branches and set up additional 1,000 automated teller machines (ATMs) in the current fiscal ending 31 March, 2017.
The move is aimed at boosting its retail banking operations.
ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying: "We believe that a wide branch network is a cornerstone in retail banking.
"Keeping this in mind, we plan to add around 400 branches this fiscal. We also plan to expand our ATM network by adding over 1,000 ATMs."
Kochhar said that research conducted by the bank has revealed that having a wide branch network is beneficial for improved customer service.
She added that location of a branch close to one’s home or office plays a key role while customers make a decision on choosing a bank.
Kochhar said: "It also helps deepen the relationship with the customer as it forms a focal point for a range of products and services like mortgages, other loans and investments.
"The branches will become digital and more advisory in nature. In fact, our branches, in their advisory role, source over half of our home loan and new cards customers. Our ATMs are like mini-branches today wherein we provide many banking services in addition to dispensing cash."
ATMs are expected to offer additional services such as utility bill payments, pre-approved loan eligibility and fund transfers to any bank.
Kochhar said: "Today, over a third of all financial transactions are done through ATMs."
The bank said that it had increased its branch network by 400 in the previous fiscal. It had 4,450 branches and 13,766 ATMs at the end 31 March 2016.
In May, it launched the country’s first contactless business credit card in association with Jet Airways for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their employees.
Image: ICICI Bank to open 400 new branches, deploy 1,000 ATMs. Photo courtesy of scottchan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.