October 26, 2016 – At a special ceremony held at its Head Office in Anamnagar, Prabhu Bank signed a partnership agreement with UKaid Sakchyam to improve access to financial services for women and members of marginalized and rural poor communities in Nepal’s hard to reach areas of Manang, Rukum and Achham. This new partnership will work to improve the reach of financial services for such deprived communities through new physical bank branches as well as new branchless banking touch points (BLB).
More than 50% of the population in the mid- and far-west (comprising women and marginalized communities) do not have easy access to the most basic of financial services. Members of these communities also lack entrepreneurial skills. Prabhu Bank, with UKaid Sakchyam’s support, aims to work towards redressing this imbalance. The bank will open 3 new brick-and-mortar bank branches: one each in Chame of Manang, Musikot or Rukum and Kamalbazar of Achham to launch a range of banking products. The bank will also start ATM and mobile banking services in these districts. The core objective of the Bank will be to serve the local community of these districts.
Further, Prabhu Bank will launch a total of 15 new BLB touch points, starting from Dharapani, Upper Manang, Taal, Dhukurpokhari and Pisang of Manang district; Takhsera, RanmaMaikot, Mahat, Puang and Kakri of Rukum district and Dhakari, Dhungachalna, Turmakhand, Binayak and Punyepata of Achham district. All branches and BLB touch points are being established by Prabhu Bank with UKaid Sakchyam’s technical assistance as well as Challenge Funding support.
“It is one of NRB’s objectives to support initiatives that improve financial inclusion for the poorest of the poor. NRB is happy to support Sakchyam and its partner banks to introduce new innovative financial services as well as alternative delivery channels to improve access to finance for far-flung communities through such partnerships,” said Mr. Shiva Nath Pandey, Executive Director, Banks and Financial Institutions Regulation Department, Nepal Rastra Bank.
“The will of commercial banks like Prabhu Bank to work towards improving financial access in remote areas of the country points toward a positive future for rural poor communities living in these areas. DFID Nepal is happy to be supporting the partnership through UKaid Sakchyam,’ said Mr. Rabi Rayamajhi, Private Sector Development Advisor, DFID Nepal.
“Prabhu Bank has always believed in catering to the public, whether they are in urban areas or rural and this new partnership is in line with the Bank’s values. I am grateful to UKaid Sakchyam for partnering with us and allowing us an opportunity to widen our scope and serve rural poor communities of Manang, Achham and Rukum,” said Mr. Ashok Sherchan, CEO, Prabhu Bank.
“Sakchyam’s core objectives of financial inclusion are more likely to be met when our partnerships launch financial services for areas where their absence is felt the most. I am confident that this partnership will expand financial services for those that have been deprived of the same,” said Mr. Baljit Vohra, Team Leader, UKaid Sakchyam.