Concentration of banks in urban centers worries Sindhuli locals

Published On: August 30, 2017 06:05 AM NPT By: Anil Bhandari

SINDHULI, August 30: Locals of rural areas in Sindhuli are facing problem as most of the banks are centered in Sindhulimadhi -- the district headquarters. 

As most of the bank and financial institutions (BFIs) are located in the district headquarters, the rural population has little or no access to banking service. 

There are eight branch offices of 'A' class banks in the district headquarters. Three of them started operation in the last fiscal year 2016/17. All of these bank branches are in Kamalamai Municipality.

State-owned Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) re-opened its branch office in Bhiman bazaar recently. The bank had shifted the branch office to district headquarters during the Maoist insurgency. Similarly, there are some branch offices of development banks in Madhi bazaar and Bhiman bazaar. 

A branch office of Agricultural Development Bank Ltd (ADBL) is in operating in district headquarters Sindhulimadhi for the past many years. There are 13 branch offices of 'A' and 'B' class banks in Kamalamai Municipality alone. Similarly, there are also branch offices of different micro-finance development banks in the municipality.

With the formation of new local bodies, locals say that two municipalities and seven rural municipalities have great scope for banking services. 

The RBB branch in Marin Rural Municipality, which was also closed down during the Maoist insurgency, is yet to be reopened. Banks are yet to set up their branch offices in newly formed rural municipalities such as Hariharpurgadhi, Ghyanglek, Tinpatan and Fikkal.

"We are planning to reopen branch offices that were displaced during the insurgency," said Pawan Sapkota, chief of RBB Sindhuli branch office, told Republica. "We are looking for office buildings as well as arranging other logistics to reopen the branch offices.”
Dudhauli Municipality, the second municipal body in the district, has only one bank branch. “As there is only one bank in the municipality, we are facing problems in distribution of salary, social security and allowance, and earthquake reconstruction grants,” Ritesh Raut, the spokesperson for Dudhauli Municipality, told Republica.

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