Mumbai: As many as 40 domestic and multinational financial giants, including Citigroup, Barclays and ICICI Bank, have sought to partner India Post for its upcoming payments bank, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Saturday.
"You have only got the in-principle approval, and other aspects like appointing a consultant are on, but already 40 big financial services groups from the country and abroad have evinced interest in a tie-up with the Postal Department," the Communications and IT Minister said while addressing postal employees here.
He named American banking giant Citigroup, British lender Barclays and the country's largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank, among those who have sent proposals for tie-up.
Prasad said the department is aiming to get the bank operational by March 2017.
He said some of the requests are for selling insurance, while some seek to provide government-to-citizen and company-to-citizen services.
The Postal Department features in a list of 11 entities who were given the go-ahead by the Reserve Bank last August to set up payments banks, aimed at promoting financial inclusion through deepening the formal financial system by focusing on transactional banking.
India Post is the only state-run entity to feature on the list, which is populated by industrial houses like the Birlas, Ambanis, and Mahindras, apart from telecom biggies like Airtel and Vodafone.
The Department's reach, spanning 1.54 lakh touch points across the country, is its strength and the employees should leverage it for maximising revenue, he said.
Prasad said as against a dip of 2 per cent in 2013-14, the revenue of the department grew 37 per cent in FY15 and has jumped 120 per cent till December 2015. He, however, did not give the absolute figures.