Muktinath Bikas Bank actively looks for ways to create social impact in Nepal, with financial literacy awareness being one of its core activities. This is due to a lack of proper understanding of banking products and services among people in remote areas.
The Central Bank of Nepal made Financial and Digital Literacy a priority for its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Many people, especially in rural areas of Nepal, borrow money at very high-interest rates from other people instead of going to a bank, due to the lack of awareness.
As a values-based institution, Muktinath Bikas Bank attaches great importance to financial education and has for many years conducted various financial education and door-to-door programmes to make more and more people aware of financial services.
The Financial Literacy Programme
In April 2023, Muktinath Bikas Bank organized a two-day intensive programme that included participation from all its 178 branch outlets and the bank’s central office across the seven provinces of the nation. The bank managed to organise over 140 events at various public spaces and also in colleges and schools.
Over 1,600 staff members of the bank, including executive members, participated in the programme. Through it, more than 10,000 people opened bank savings accounts with the bank, and the bank had more than 6,500 participants in the classroom setting modality alone, totalling 16,500+ and counting. This campaign created the biggest impact as the bank collaborated on a much larger scale, creating wider banking awareness across Nepal.
Namrata Gautam, Branding & Corporate Affairs at Muktinath Bikas Bank:
“With the Financial Literacy, Digital Promotion & Door to Door programme, the bank tried to access both the remote and urbanized localities to create awareness about banking products and services and encourage them to transact through our banking channels.”
Classroom lessons and door to door visits
Muktinath adopted two modalities for this programme: one was a classroom setting of one presenter and audience, and the other modality was all the staff members participating in going from household to household to create awareness about banking products and services. The programmes were managed by joint initiation of different branches or by each branch individually.
The programme aimed to provide awareness on various financial transactions, future planning of students, secured savings, family budget and planning, and other related topics.
Simran Pradhan, a participant in the Financial Literacy Programme, said:
“ I had the opportunity to learn the basic concepts of savings, loans and demat account. Considering relatively people of my age are young and are still not financially literate, the bank provided me with a great insight to start to manage my finance through this programme.“
The importance of awareness campaigns
Muktinath Bikas Bank has been active in financial literacy awareness campaigns for a few years. It has adopted both the classroom model, where one presenter explains banking to various attendees, and the door-to-door model, where each staff member talks directly to various people by visiting their houses in nearby localities, separately at various time periods.
The bank thinks that financial literacy programmes are necessary to onboard customers and provide access to people who can benefit from banking products and services but are not aware of them. Organising awareness campaigns helps the bank reach these people directly and prevent financial exclusion.