| CSR activities in brief
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR)
Pg 10-11 of the Annual Report
The Bank has formulated a CSR Policy to guide our strategic planning and provide a roadmap for our CSR initiatives, which is an integral part of overall business policy and is aligned with our business goals.
The CSR Policy covers the following core elements:* Care for all Stakeholders
* Ethical functioning
* Respect for Workers’ Rights and Welfare
* Respect for Human Rights
* Respect for Environment
* Activities for Social and Inclusive Development
* Implemented Minimum Wages for Contract workers
The Bank has always been keen in discharging its social responsibility. As part of the continued efforts to be an active player in the field of sustainable development, the Bank has been in the forefront to popularise inclusive growth. Towards achieving the objective, we are one of the pioneers in starting the no frill account for the less privileged. Bank has been making all out efforts in extending finance to small and micro-enterprises and the participation in the government sponsored schemes like SJSRY has been quite impressive. The Bank believes that agriculture and allied activities form an integral part of the development and therefore, emphasis is given to achieve maximum flow of credit to the eligible activities. Considerable assistance by way of finance and non-refundable contributions have been given towards palliative care, AIDS avoidance, general medical care for the under privileged, furtherance of education etc. Bank has adopted a few villages in Kerala with a view to cater to their all-inclusive growth.
The Bank is determined to ensure that environmental sustainability is given the adequate priority. We have been encouraging financing and setting up of non-conventional energy production units such as wind mill, solar energy gadgets etc. More emphasis will continue to be given towards growth of such units. Infrastructure development is a major requirement for the long term development. Accordingly the Bank has been participating in viable projects such as power generation, road and bridge construction, oil exploration etc., referred to for financing. As a long term sustenance strategy, while taking up medium and large scale projects with a threshold limit of Rs.50 crore and above, we are examining the impact on the environmental issues like carbon emission, damage to the eco system, effect on the virginity of the land surface etc.
The Bank has taken a decision that any new construction by the Bank shall conform to the green concept and towards this goal the new Data Centre building being constructed at Ernakulam is expected to get a good Green Rating by the Indian Green Building Council.
SIB STUDENTS' ECONOMIC FORUM (SIBSEF)
Students' Economic Forum, which has completed 18 years after its first publication was launched in December 1991. It is a monthly publication discussing and analyzing a theme relating to important economic affairs and events. So far 220 themes have been published. In response to the requests from our readers and well wishers, we compiled the first 201 themes of this publication in 4 volumes. The objective of this venture is to kindle interest in economic affairs in the minds of our younger generation and also to empower the student community. Although it is a publication primarily targeted at the student community, the feedbacks received at our end show that the booklet is being well referred to by academicians, administrators, bankers and researchers. It is also a source of reference for the editors of various publications, including banking journals.
The following topics were discussed during the year 2009-2010: IFRS (April-2009), RBI Annual Policy Statement - 2009-10 (May- 2009), Microfinance Part-I (June-2009), Microfinance - Part-II (July-2009), Union Budget 2009-10 (August-2009), Limited Liability Partnerships (September-2009), Interest Rate Futures (October- 2009), MSMEs (November-2009), ASEAN - India Free Trade Agreement (December-2009), Tax Reforms in India- Direct Taxes Code - Part-I (January-2010), Tax Reforms in India - Goods & Services Tax - Part II (February-2010), Union Budget - 2010- 11 - the path of Fiscal Prudence (March-2010). Open access is also made available to this publication through the "Students' Corner" page of the Bank's website.
FINANCIAL INCLUSION INITIATIVES
As on March 31, 2010, Bank has 580 branches in the country. Out of these, 358 branches are located in rural / semi-urban areas. Out of the proposed 60 new branches to be opened during the financial year 2010-2011, 33 branches (55%) will be opened in rural and semi-urban areas. We have so far opened 1,50,130 'no frills' accounts (basic SB Accounts facilitating financial inclusion), with a minimum balance requirement of just Rs.10/-. We have opened more than 5 lakh 'SIB Junior' accounts, which is another financial inclusion product being offered by the Bank. This SB account is exclusively for the students.
In addition to this, Bank plans to adopt the Business Correspondent Model (Branchless Banking Model) for financial inclusion as permitted by RBI. As per the scheme, Business Correspondents appointed by the Bank will facilitate basic banking services using the Hand Held Terminals (HHTs). Authentication will be done using the smart cards issued to the customers along with their finger print matches. It is proposed to implement the scheme on a pilot basis in 5 villages during the financial year 2010-11. As per the financial inclusion plan, the Bank proposes to cover at least 100 under banked villages by the end of financial year 2012-13.