On 6th June, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released new guidelines for financial literacy and credit counselling centres (FLCCs). The central bank had conducted a nationwide survey of 30 centres in 16 states, which indicated that most existing centres were “actually working as institutions of sponsor banks”.
“Though 53% of FLCCs are run by separate trusts/societies formed for the purpose, these are actually working as institutions of sponsor banks due to their dependence for funding and administrative support,” RBI said in a release.
All these centres are in urban and semi-urban areas and not in rural regions, where most of the financially excluded population lives. The RBI said, awareness of such centres is low, and they conduct very few outdoor campaigns.
RBI said, banks should consider setting up need-based financial literacy centres in more locations. The rural branches of all scheduled commercial banks will be expected to promote financial literacy.
The central bank is also preparing uniform educational modules that will be distributed to all banks. Banks can translate the material into different languages, with focus on explaining basic banking products such as savings-cum-overdraft account.
Financial centres would be expected to maintain full record of the people served. The responsibility of monitoring these centres would be on the banks and the state-level bankers’ committees concerned.
The RBI said, within 20 days of the end of a quarter, the state-level bankers’ committees will have to submit a quarterly report on the functioning of these centres to RBI’s regional offices.