Bandhan Bank started its journey with an aim to make its presence felt by reaching out to customers to make deposits. This money will be used to give loans to small entrepreneurs.
Bandhan becomes the first micro finance company to transform into a bank. Thus, India got its first private bank in 11 years. Before this Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank were the last to grab private bank licenses in February 2003. Kotak was first to get off the block in 2004, followed by YES Bank in the same year.
Bandhan has 67 lakh microfinance borrowers and their accounts have been formally transferred to the new entity, creating around Rs 10,000-crore strong loan portfolio to start with.
“We will stay away from giving loans to large corporations and would instead focus on SMEs,” said Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, founder, managing director and chief executive officer, Bandhan Bank as reported by a national daily.
With 1.43 crore accounts, 501 branches and 50 ATMs across 24 Indian states,Bandhan Bank has hit the ground running. State-wise, West Bengal has the maximum number of branches at 220, followed by Bihar (67), Assam (60), Maharashtra (21), Uttar Pradesh and Tripura (20 each), and Jharkhand (15).
Over 71% of the branches will be in rural India and at least 35% in unbanked rural pockets. It plans to have 632 branches and 250 ATMs in 27 states by the end of fiscal year 2016.