Mumbai- Banking penetration has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 50 years as the ratio of per capita bank deposits to income rose from 15.8 in 1972 to 71.2 in 2022, according to a central bank official.

During this period, the ratio of per capita credit to income jumped from 12.2 to 51.3.

This period of faster banking penetration and financial intermediation is also the half-a-century of the Basic Statistical Returns (BSR) system of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that has been supporting the expanse of the banking system and financial inclusion policies during 1972-2022.

Addressing the 50 years of BSR over the weekend, RBI Deputy Governor Michael Debabrata Patra said that over the years, innovation and demanding requirements resulting therefrom have led to several modifications in the BSR system.

There have been modifications in terms of coverage, periodicity, granularity and reference dates with developments in technology leveraged to improve the quality and timeliness of statistics.

Patra said there is one commercial bank branch for every 9,000 citizens now from one branch for 40,000 citizens in 1972. Banks today operate around 2.25 lakh customer service points, including over 1.75 lakh ATMs. In addition, there are more than 9 lakh business correspondents who bring banking services virtually to the doorstep, he added.

The reach and spread of the banking network have also improved the mobilisation of financial resources in the economy, he said and pointed out that as a result, the number of deposit accounts per thousand population has jumped from just 43 in 1972 to over 1,600 now.

Households now account for 63 per cent of the total bank deposits, which is also reflected in the rise in the ratio of per capita bank deposits to income from 15.8 in 1972 to 71.2 in 2022.

The ratio of per capita credit to income has increased from 12.2 to 51.3 between 1972 and 2022, Patra said, adding bank branches across rural, semi-urban and urban areas have contributed to this mammoth financial intermediation.

Patra also said that as part of further rationalisation of the BSR and to reduce reporting burden on banks, RBI will be discontinuing the quarterly BSR7 reporting from March 2023. Subsequently, there will be only BSR1 on credit and BSR2 on deposits, both of which will be out on a quarterly basis.

Regional rural banks will continue to report at annual frequency, he added.  (PTI)


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