India Post plans to double up as bank

Soon the ubiquitous post office could also morph into a neighbourhood bank, proving a major boon for villages.

India Post, which has the largest number of offices across the country, is planning to enter banking business as the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) makes all entities with a credible track record eligible for a banking licence.

The department of posts has appointed Ernst and Young as consultant for proposed 'Post Bank', official sources said.

India Post is also reported to be in the process of setting up 1,000 ATMs.

Of the total, Andhra Pradesh will be getting the largest number - 100 ATMs - followed by Tamil Nadu (92), Uttar Pradesh (73), Maharashtra (61), Karnataka (60), Kerala (51) and Rajastan (51).

India Post has a strong rural presence and is already into the small savings scheme. It also has a credible record of service across the country, sources pointed out.