Indian Private Bank and financial service provider Bandhan Bank on Wednesday, March 11, announced the launch of 125 new banking outlets across 15 states in the country. Notably, the Bank currently operates a robust network of 1,013 branches and an additional 3,206 smaller units of Doorstep Service Centres. Coupled with that, the Private lender has also established 195 Home Loan Service Centres in 34 of the 36 States (including the 7 Union Territories) across India, taking the total number of functional service outlets to 4,141.
The opening of the new Banking Outlets comes in lieu of after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lifted restrictions placed on Bandhan Bank on Tuesday, allowing it to open new branches without prior permission. In a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the company has explained that 25% of the new Banking outlets will be opened in unbanked and rural Centres in the country.
Out of the 125 new Banking Outlets, 42 have been opened in Uttar Pradesh, 29 in Rajasthan, 12 in Madhya Pradesh, 7 each in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 6 in Bihar, 5 in Chhatisgarh, 4 in Odisha, 3 in Tamil Nadu, and 2 each in Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam, and finally 1 each in Delhi and West Bengal.
With the announcement, the share price increased and was quoted at Rs 378.05; up by Rs 3.70, or 0.99%, on the BSE at 12:40 PM.
RBI has reportedly allowed this move, considering the efforts made by the Bank to comply with their licensing terms and conditions after being barred by them from opening new facilities without its approval and explicit order.
CEO and MD of Bandhan Bank, Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, released a statement to the press where he rejoiced, 'We are happy that with the withdrawal of restrictions on opening new branches, we will be able to expand business growth rapidly. In our four-and-a-half-year existence as a universal Bank, we have been quick to identify opportunities for expanding distribution and setting up our presence.'
The CEO further explained that the 125 new branches will solidify their goals to serve customers better. Expressing confidence in the continuing growth trajectory projected by the Bank, Ghosh opined that the trust customers and stakeholders have showered on them will motivate them to expand and facilitate all stakeholders.
It's worth noting that as of December 31, 2019, Bandhan Bank served 1.9 crore customers with deposits amounting to Rs 54,908 crore, and advances collating to Rs 65,456 crore. This puts the entire business of the Bank at Rs 1,20,364 crore.
Founded in 2001 as a not-for-profit enterprise, the private lender is headquartered in Kolkata, the firm was meant to represent financial inclusion and women empowerment through sustainable livelihood creation. This can be witnessed in their efforts to provide microloans to numerous underprivileged sections of the society.
Upon acquiring an NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) in 2006, the company quickly scaled its microfinance loans and services, while continuing to focus on financial inclusion. In 2015, Bandhan Bank earned the merit of being the first MFI (microfinance institution) transforming into a 'Universal Bank' in India, when it was recognised as the largest MFI in the country.