The bank now operates in eight districts in the State

South Malabar Gramin Bank (SMGB) has shaken up the Regional Rural Bank (RRB) landscape with an aggressive branch expansion drive.

On Saturday, the Canara Bank-sponsored RRB formally announced that 23 regular branches have gone on stream across the State in February-March.

CENTRAL DIRECTIVE

This is in keeping with a Central Government directive requiring RRBs to add an incremental 10 per cent to their existing branch strength during this year.

SMGB had branch strength of 235 when this directive came into force, the Chairman, Mr G. Pandurangan, said.

A function was held at Nadayara near Varkala, where the latest two of the 23 branches and three ultra small branches were declared opened.

Ultra small branches are where the business correspondents will operate from with a hand-held device, acting an extension of the bank in unbanked areas.

Mr A. Sampath, MP, inaugurated these branches at the function held at Nadayara, which was presided over by Mr Pandurangan.

Mr K. Kishore Kumar, General Manager, SMGB, was also present. SMGB was set up in 1976 and is now operating in eight districts. Counterpart North Malabar Gramin Bank is the other RRB active in the State.

SMGB covers districts of Malappuram, Palakkad, Wayanad (in part), Kozhikode, Thrissur, Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Thiruvananthapuram.

Headquartered in Malappuram, SMGB now has 258 branches, three ultra small branches, three service branches, four regional offices and one area office.

The share capital is Rs 1 crore, shared by the Central and State Governments and the sponsor bank in the ratio 50:15:35. Total business as March 31, 2011, stood Rs 6,567 crore, Mr Pandurangan said. Aggregate deposits amounted to Rs 3,259 crore and advances, Rs 3,308 crore.

The bank has been making a profit from inception, and has totted up 2.51 lakh numbers of no-frill accounts with outstanding balance of Rs 29.37 crore.

The employee base of 1,534 comprises 861 officers and 673 workmen. The credit-to-deposit ratio stands at 102 per cent.

SMGB boasts a customer base of 25.98 lakh, broken down into 19.17 lakh depositors and 6.81 lakh borrowers.

vinson@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 25, 2012)
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