Nirmala Sitharaman launch: EASE 5.0 ‘Common Reforms Agenda’ for PSBs.

EASE, which was launched on Wednesday, has evolved over four annual editions from FY19 to FY22, aiming to improve PBS.

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Enhanced Access and Service Excellence, which was launched on Wednesday, has evolved over four yearly editions from FY19 to FY22 and has catalyzed reforms in diverse areas in Public Sector Banks.

The EASENext program’s EASE 5.0 ‘Common Reforms Agenda’ was developed for Public Sector Banks and was launched in New Delhi via video conference by Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman. Managing Directors, CEOs, and other senior executives from public sector banks virtually attended the event. 

“All PSBs are now profitable and have strong balance sheets,” Sanjay Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, said in his opening remarks. “It is vital that PSBs utilize this position of strength to significantly boost their competitiveness.” He mentioned PSB Manthan 2022, which was held in April 2022 with functional heads of Public Sector Banks and paved the way for the emergence of a broader and bolder program – EASENext – which would include two major initiatives: EASE 5.0 (common PSB reforms agenda) and Bank specific strategic 3-year roadmap (based on individual bank’s business priorities).

PSBs will continue to invest in new-age capabilities and deepen ongoing changes under EASE 5.0 to respond to changing consumer needs, competition, and the technological environment. EASE 5.0 will place a strong emphasis on digital customer experience as well as integrated and inclusive banking, with a particular emphasis on small businesses and agriculture.

Simultaneously, each PSB will develop its three-year strategic plan. Beyond EASE 5.0, it will comprise new objectives. The efforts will cover a wide range of topics, including business expansion, profitability, risk, customer service, operations, and capacity building.

The agenda was presented by the Finance Minister. EASENext, she said, is well-positioned to channel reforms, with a particular focus on customer-centric initiatives. Minister emphasized on customer-first strategy and focus on employee development.

Nirmala Sitharaman further said that banks should engage with their clients to understand their requirements and expectations to establish a customer-centric approach. Robust security methods should be implemented as part of technology upgrades. Finally, she stated that the EASENext reforms should benefit both customers and employees.

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