KOCHI: Cooperation Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Saturday sought to allay apprehensions regarding the Kerala Bank proposed to be set up by the state government. “There won’t be any downsizing of personnel or reduction in the number of branches. Also, the terms of service and wage conditions of employees will remain the same,” the minister said while inaugurating the modern facilities and free services offered by the Ernakulam District Cooperative Bank at its headquarters at Kakkanad.
“The public are free to express their opinion on Kerala Bank and the interests of the state will not be compromised. The task force which is entrusted with the setting up of the bank will examine people’s opinions and the concerns will be addressed before moving ahead,” he said.“The cooperative sector in the state is a model to the country. However, it should be able to attract more youth customers. At present, the majority of its customers are above the age of 50. The younger generation is not concerned about the service charges imposed by private and commercial banks as they prefer faster services via smartphones. So, the service sector too must adopt the path of modernisation,” the minister said while lauding the services of the Ernakulam District Cooperative Bank in this regard.
“The policy of the Central Government is to create banking giants by allowing more mergers in the sector. With the move, the Centre aims to restrict the number of banks in the country to a mere dozen. However, this will keep away small and middle-level loan seekers and ordinary people from banking. At a time when the public sector, private, commercial and new generation banks are imposing high service charges for all types of transactions, the primary cooperative societies and banks offer a solace to the public,” he said.
Cooperation Department Secretary P Venugopal congratulated the IT team behind the new initiatives of the Ernakulam District Cooperative Bank . District Bank administrator M S Laila, Cooperative Societies registrar S Lalithambika and Kerala Bank Task Force chairman V R Raveendranath attended the function along with a host of dignitaries from the banking sector.