EASE 4.0: Everything You Need to Know

Launched in August 2021, the EASE 4.0 reform seeks to institutionalize SMART and CLEAN banking system.
EASE 4.0
EASE 4.0

EASE 4.0: The Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE) 4.0 reforms plan was introduced in August 2021 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. With the help of the Ease 4.0 reform, Public Sector Banks (PSBs) will be able to institutionalize smart banking and establish an ethical framework. The government has implemented the plan to further the goal of customer-centric digital transformation and financial inclusion in rural areas of India.

EASE 4.0 was launched because of EASE 3.0 immense success, as evidenced by the PSB's reported excellent profits of about INR 31,817 crore in FY21. The Ease 3.0 concept is continued with and improved upon in Ease 4.0.

The following features define the EASE 4.0 agenda framework:

  1. In addition to encouraging excellent banking practices, incentives should be provided to improve credit offtake, talent development, and client response.
  2. Internal activity streamlining and 24/7 robust banking capabilities adding technical tools like AI and data analysis to the PSB ecosystem.
  3. The participation of participants from rural and semi-rural areas in the financial system through access to loans for agriculture.
  4. Investigating potential data-sharing partnerships with reliable outside parties.
Key Initiatives of EASE 4.0:
  1. 24/7 Banking: To ensure the continuous availability of banking services, EASE 4.0 has introduced the concept of 24x7 banking with durable tech. This is done by ensuring the 24x7 availability of specific banking channels, enhancing the reliability of software platforms, and coordinating internal PSB systems to provide these services.
  2. Focus on North-East: Additionally, banks are requested to prepare special schemes for the North-East. CASA (Current Account Savings Account) deposits in the Eastern States are a cause for worry, according to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam, who also suggested that banks provide a facility in the area for wider credit development.
  3. Bad Bank: A bad bank is a bank created with the purpose of purchasing subprime loans and other illiquid assets of some other financial institution. The proposed bad bank is exceptionally close to receiving a license, according to the Finance Minister.
  4. Leveraging FinTech Sector: FinTech, or financial technology, is the application of ground-breaking new technologies to the products and services of the financial sector. Leveraging this field might improve the banking industry and help banks with technology.

The EASE 4.0 reforms deal with digital, agricultural financing, 24-hour banking, technological durability, and co-lending with non-banking financial firms. Data analytics, automation, and digitalization are also being given a lot of attention. 

The EASE index evaluates each state-run bank's performance on more than 135+ objective parameters across 4 key elements based on compliance with regulations. It offers a comparative assessment of banks' positions in relation to performance metrics and their competitors with regard to the reform agenda, which is available to all PSBs.

Recently, Bank of Baroda won the top honor for the best overall performance on the PSB Reforms EASE Agenda 4.0, Canara Bank and State Bank of India came in second and third place, respectively.

Also Read: Finance Minister launches EASE 4.0 Agenda.



Which bank has topped the ease reforms Index Award 2021 Ease 4.0 Awards?

Bank of Baroda is the Overall winner of the EASE Reforms Index Award 2022 (EASE 4.0 Awards).

How is the ease reforms index composed?

The EASE 4.0 reforms examine four crucial steps that PSBs should take: Data-enabled agriculture financing, 24x7 banking with resilient technology and cloud-based IT systems, smart lending supported by analytics, and working with the financial ecosystem.

What is the EASE Reform Index?

EASE Agenda is aimed at institutionalizing CLEAN and SMART banking.
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