Sitharaman said EASENext reforms should make banking with PSBs easier for customers as well as for employees.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on June 8 unveiled EASE 5.0 — Enhanced Access and Service Excellence — a common reform agenda for public sector banks (PSBs) aimed at institutionalising clean and smart banking.
Sitharaman said EASENext is well-positioned to channel reforms with a specific focus on customer-centric initiatives and emphasised on customer-first strategy and focus on employee development.
The finance minister said in order to develop a customer-centric approach, banks should engage with their customers to understand their needs and expectations, and develop robust security mechanisms while upgrading technology initiatives.
Further, she said the EASENext reforms should bring ease for customers as well as for employees.
An official release noted that EASE has evolved over four annual editions from FY19 to FY22 and has catalysed reforms in diverse areas in PSBs.
Sanjay Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, said all PSBs are now profitable and have stronger balance sheets. It is imperative that PSBs leverage this position of strength to significantly increase their competitiveness, he added.
He mentioned that PSB Manthan, 2022, which was organised in April 2022 with functional heads of PSBs, had paved the way for the genesis of a broader and bolder programme — EASENext. It would comprise two major initiatives: EASE 5.0 (common PSB reforms agenda) and bank-specific strategic 3-year roadmap (based on individual bank’s business priorities).
Under EASE 5.0, PSBs will continue to invest in new-age capabilities and deepen the ongoing reforms to respond to evolving customer needs, changing competition, and the technology environment. EASE 5.0 will focus on digital customer experience, and integrated and inclusive banking, with emphasis on supporting small businesses and agriculture.
Simultaneously, all PSBs will also create a bank-specific three-year strategic roadmap. It will entail strategic initiatives beyond EASE 5.0. The initiatives will be across diverse themes — business growth, profitability, risk, customer service, operations, and capability building.