Coop bank in expansion mode

The Visakhapatnam Co-operative Bank Limited, which has a total of 46 branches in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, will soon reach the 50 branches mark and that is our focus area, said Chairman of the bank Ch. Raghavendra Rao.

Addressing the media here on Friday, he said the bank was ranked among the top 20 urban co-op banks in the country out of a total of 1574 banks.

“The latest addition being the one at Rajahmundry earlier this week, and we have received licences from the RBI to open branches at Vijayawada, Guntur, Atchyuthapuram in Visakhapatnam district and one more in Hyderabad. With the addition of the four in the coming months, we will touch the 50 mark, a target which we set for ourselves for 2020."

He said the hundred-year-old bank, with a deposit base of ₹ 2,531.56 crore and loans of ₹ 1737.22 crore, was rated to be the foremost urban co-operative bank in South Indiaand it was maintaining a healthy growth rate, though at present the banking sector as a whole was passing through a critical phase.

According to him the progress of the bank had slowed down in the aftermath of demonetisation, but it was recovering well. The bank was making all efforts to get the status of a scheduled bank and completing all the requisite formalities.

Raghavendra Rao said the bank was confident of achieving the target of ₹ 3,500 crore in deposits and ₹ 2,500 crore in loans by 2020.

Former chairman of the bank M. Anjaneyulu said policies of the NDA government were impacting the economy of the country, and has proved to be disastrous for the banking sector, with NPAs reaching the highest levels.

He alleged that a misinformation campaign was being carried out that the banks were flush with funds after demonetisation, but the reality was not so rosy. He also opposed the merger and consolidation in the banking sector. He contended that the urban co-operative banks in the country were performing much better than the commercial banks and private banks, even though demonetisation had hit them too.

P.V Narasimha Murthy, CEO of the bank, said the bank was paying 8.25 % interest on a five-year deposit for senior citizens and offering loans at competitive rates such as housing loans at 9 % , gold loans at 9 % , personal loans at 11 % and consumer loans at 12 %.

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