The Visakhapatnam Co-operative Bank Ltd has crossed Rs 2,000 crore in business during 2011-12 financial year, according to Mr M. Anjaneyulu, Chairman. The bank aims to touch Rs 3,000 crore by 2014.

Reviewing the performance of the bank at a press meet here on Tuesday, he said that the bank had crossed Rs 2,000 crore by January this year and currently “our business is Rs 2,084 crore – Rs. 1,211 crore in deposits and the rest in advances.” He said the bank had achieved 25 per cent growth in deposits and 21 per cent in advances during the financial year, somewhat lower than the bank executive's expectations.

He said the performance of the bank, however, was much better than that of commercial banks and creditable.

Mr Anjaneyulu said the bank, set up in 1916, had set the target of Rs. 3,000 crore by 2016, the centenary year, but may achieve the target two years in advance, going by the present trend.

He said the bank was on expansion mode and two branches will be opened in the next few months – one at Vizianagaram and the other at Eluru – in addition to the existing 25. “We have applied to the RBI for opening six more branches in different coastal districts and are expecting the approval anytime. We have our presence in the State Capital, Hyderabad, with two branches,” he said.

He said the United India Insurance Company had appointed the Visakhapatnam Co-operative Bank as the corporate agent and the insurance products would be sold through the branches. The share capital of the bank was Rs 48.74 crore and the reserves amounted to Rs 60.81 crore. Eight of the branches were housed in own buildings.

He said the Bobbili Co-op Urban Bank, the Ramachandrapuram Co-operative Urban Bank and the Ongole Urban Co-operative Bank had been merged into the Visakhapatnam Co-operative Bank and they were on the way to financial recovery.

Commenting on the performance of the urban co-operative banks in general, he said there were 103 in the State and all but five were performing well. The total deposits in these banks amounted to Rs 5,200 crore and the advances Rs. 3,800 crore.

State Govt to blame

Mr Anjaneyulu commented that the Andhra Pradesh Government was more responsible for the problems of these ailing banks rather than the managements. “As long as the State Government lays its hands off, the banks are fine. It is only when the State Government starts meddling in their affairs, they get into trouble,” he said and cited the example of Charminar Bank in Hyderabad.

He said the Charminar Bank had gone into liquidation because of the wrong policies of the State Government. “In fact, they have appointed a competent officer from the co-operative department and that official, a woman, was doing an excellent job in recovering the loans, but strangely the State Government deemed it fit to transfer her ten days ago. Obviously, political pressures must have worked and the official was shifted. An MLA and some prominent defaulters were behind it,” he said.

He wanted the State Government to change its attitude and encourage the co-operative sector and not to kill it in the name of regulation.

Mr P.V Narasimha Murthy, the CEO, also participated in the press meet.

(This article was published on April 3, 2012)
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