Financial Inclusion – Steps by IIBF
Indian Institute of Banking & Finance (IIBF), a premier institute offering professional education for the employees of banking and finance institutions (Estd 1928) is a professional body of banks, financial institutions and their employees in India. Since inception, the Institute has awarded over 5.2 Lac banking and finance qualifications, viz., JAIIB, CAIIB, Diplomas and Certificates in specialized areas. The Distance Learning process of the Institute comprises (i) publishing specific courseware for each paper/examination; (ii) publishing work books; (iii) holding tutorials through accredited institutions; (iv) organizing contact classes; (v) conducting virtual classes; (vi) offering e-learning through portal; (vii) organizing training for selected courses, etc.
The Institute is actively involved in the field of financial inclusion and has taken a number of steps to meet the national objective of financial inclusion viz:
1. The Institute published in November 2006 a book titled ‘Readings in financial inclusion’ probably one of the earliest books on the subject, detailing the scope and challenges of financial Inclusion in the country.
2. The Institute has organized Seminars, (free of participation fee) on "Financial Inclusion” for bankers and others, at Kolkata, Pune, Irinjalakkuda (Kerala), Agartala, Patna, Dharwad, Shimla, Jaipur, Ahmedabad & Manipal. Each of the Seminars was attended, on an average, by 100 persons.
3. In the recently published customer service and banking codes and standards book leading to a customer service certification a chapter is devoted to financial inclusion.
4. The Institute uses its portal to reach out to its members and others on the issue of financial literacy/financial inclusion. The portal contains
- Reading material and a FAQ on financial inclusion.
- A learning vault wherein the customer/reader will be able to finds answers for their questions on banking. The easy to read Q&A type e-learning contains an exclusive section for school children also.
5. The Institute believes that the financially excluded, CSPs, BC companies and branch staff must be educated on various aspects of the inclusion efforts etc. such that sustainable financial inclusion can happen. More importantly the people involved in the last mile delivery of banking services must be well informed of the banking norms and inclusion procedures such that the product selling is appropriate. Towards this objective the Institute has launched (April 2009) a Certificate Course for Business Correspondents/ Business Facilitators, with structured training in a class room followed by an examination.
The course is backed by a courseware titled - “Inclusive Growth – thro’ Business Correspondent/Facilitator”. Apart from English, this book has been published in Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali languages. Translation of the book into Tamil, Kannada and Telugu is currently underway. The books in regional languages are being released in the SLBC meetings at state levels for wider dissemination of information about the course. These efforts are highlighted in the local press, which all go a long way in helping the financial inclusion effort of banks, RBI and the Government of India
6. The training for the CSP, BC/BF and/or the employees of these companies can be provided by the banks and/or accredited institutions. IIBF conducts a two day trainers training program for the faculty of banks / accredited institutions. So far, such programs have been conducted for the Rudseti’s in eastern region (in association with NABARD (Kolkotta), Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Syndicate Bank, Dena Bank and Bank of Maharashtra.
Certificate Course for Business Correspondents/ Business Facilitators
The objective of the course is to provide, to the candidates (CSP), basic knowledge in banking operations and help them developing an overall understanding of the role and function of BCs/BFs, financial advising, counseling etc.
- Training: Candidates appearing for the course will undergo a self-paced study of the course material developed by the Institute and undergo training for about 5 days arranged by the Institute/banks/accredited institutions.
- Testing: At the time of completing the training the candidates will be subjected to an examination conducted by IIBF
- Accreditation of institutions by IIBF: To impart the training, IIBF adopts a process of accrediting institutions after undertaking a Due Diligence Study. Banks may also conduct the training. IIBF mentors the training institutions.
- Target Group for the Course: Persons working as Business Correspondents /Business Facilitators, Employees of BCs/BFs providing banking and finance related services and Persons aspiring to make a career in this field.
- Eligibility for the Course: Candidates with SSC/SSLC/Matriculation or equivalent qualification will be eligible for admission.
- MEDIUM OF EXAMINATION: Currently, apart from English and Hindi, examinations are being conducted in Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil, Assamese and Telugu.
- Pattern of Examination:
- Internal assessment: 40 marks (by the accredited training institutes) which covers candidate’s familiarity with the asset products and schemes for financing in rural areas, his/her involvement and participation in the class-room discussion and activities, simulation exercises, role-play, case discussions, filling up of account-opening forms, loan applications, documents etc.
- Examination: 60 marks. An objective/ multiple choice based examination on the courseware. The test is conducted on the last day of the training. Pass mark is 50.
- FeesThe course fee for training and certification is Rs 4000. This includes cost of training and appearing for the examination.
Support from NABARD under F.I. Fund
The highlight of the certificate course is that NABARD is extending support by way of full / partial reimbursement of the course fee to the successful candidates under financial inclusion fund.
As on date (December 2010) out of 401 candidates who have appeared for the examination, 381 candidates have been declared successful.
This examination is cost effective and would help banks to develop a cadre of qualified “barefoot” agents who would be able to take the banking to the nook and corner of the country in a given time frame.
IIBF will, shortly introduce an e-learning with voice over in many languages in support of the course.