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Axis Bank opens 250 branches in rural areas

Axis(1)Axis Bank has opened 250 branches in unbanked areas in 2014 as per the regulatory requirement, which qualifies it to launch 750 more urban branches over the next two fiscals. The bank feels it is a misnomer to say that venturing deep into the unbanked areas is a pain point, and asserted that this business will be profitable in a few years. According to Rajiv Anand, president, Retail Banking of the bank, the RBI had stipulated that banks could front-load your 25% branches in unbanked areas and carry forward the benefit over the next three years. Axis Bank has already done so and this year, it would have done about 300 unbanked branches. This gives the bank the opportunity to have over 750 branches in the better-performing areas in tier-I, II and III centres. The bank has around 2,300 branches, 52% of them in the semi-urban, rural and unbanked areas. The bank feels there is a big opportunity in rural areas and it is looking at it beyond garnering deposits.

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