Bharatiya Mahila Bank
|Industry||Banking, Financial services|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
|Key people||Usha Ananthasubramanian (Chairman & MD)|
|Products||core banking, credit card, consumer banking, corporate banking, finance and insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, private equity, wealth management|
|Owner(s)||Government of India|
Bharatiya Mahila Bank (Hindi: भारतीय महिला बैंक) (BMB) is an Indian financial services banking company based in New Delhi, India.Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the system on 19 November 2013 on the occasion of the 94th birth anniversary of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Although initially reported as a bank exclusively for women, the bank allows deposits to flow from everyone, but lending will be predominantly for women. India is the third country in the world to have a bank especially for women, after Pakistan and Tanzania.
The bank has been criticized as adopting a segregational approach to gender equality. Uma Shashikant of the The Hindu writes:
Women-only banks are another instance of wanting to treat women ‘differently’. We guise this in many forms, some in garbs of reverence, some as protection, but they are all forms of discrimination that promote gender-based stereotyping. Women-only organisations stem from this eagerness to patronise women in the name of preferential treatment.
Banking For Women
In India, only 26% of women have an account with a formal financial institution, compared with 46% of men. That means an account in either a bank, a credit union, a co-operative, post office or a microfinance institution, according to a study by the World Bank. Also, for women, per capita credit is 80 per cent lower than males.
Furthermore, the results of a study using a global dataset covering 350 Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in 70 countries indicates that more women clients is associated with lower portfolio-at-risk, lower write-offs, and lower credit-loss provisions, ceteris paribus. provision
The bank will also place emphasis on funding for skills developments to help in economic activity. Moreover, the products will be designed in a manner to give a slight concession on loan rates to women.
The bank shall also aim to inspire people with entrepreneurial skills and, in conjunction with NGOs, plans to locally mobilize women to train them in vocations like toy-making or driving tractors or mobile repairs, according to Usha Ananthasubramanian (CMD).
One of the other objectives of the bank is to promote asset ownership amongst women customers. Studies have shown that asset ownership amongst women reduces their risk of suffering from domestic violence.
The Bank's initial capital consists of Rs 1,000 crores. The government plans to have 25 branches of the said bank by the end of March 2014 and 500 branches by 4th year of operation (2017).
US-based FIS Global, in partnership with Wipro is leading the race for a Rs 1,000-crore contract to provide IT systems at the country’s first women-focussed bank, it is reliably learnt. 
The government has chosen the iconic Air India building at Nariman Point in Mumbai to open the first branch of Bank. A senior Air India official said the company has agreed in principle to give space to the bank. “The branch will come up in the 5,000 sq ft space on the sea-facing side of the building. With the Bharatiya Mahila Bank, we will have two bank branches on the ground floor of the building — the other is a Bank of India branch,” said a senior Air India official.
The Bharatiya Mahila Bank, which started operations from November 2013, is planning to open a modest 33,400 accounts through 39 branches in its first year.
Initially the bank will have a board of directors consisting of eight women.  The board consists of a business graduate sarpanch from Rajasthan, Chhavi Rajawat, Dalit entrepreneur Kalpana Saroj, who turned around a tubes business, retired public banker Nupur Mitra, academic Pakiza Samad, private equity professional Renuka Ramnath, Godrej Group executive Director Tanya Dubash and Priya Kumar, a government nominee.
One of the key objective of the Bank is focus on the banking needs of women and promote economic empowerment through women's growth and developments.
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- "Bharatiya Mahila Bank, India’s first all-women bank, opens". zeenews.india.com. 2013-09-18. Retrieved 2013-11-20.