Money & Banking

RBL Bank to focus on branch expansion in next few years

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on March 05, 2021

Hopes to end this fiscal with about 425 branches

Private sector RBL Bank is eyeing aggressive branch expansion over the next few years and plans to open at least 75 new branches annually.

“We have always, at the maximum, done 30 to 40 branches, except for a year or two when we did 55 to 60 branches. But now, we have agreed to do upwards of 75 branches a year for the next two-three-four years,” said Surinder Chawla, Head, Branch Banking, RBL Bank.

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As on December 31, 2020, the lender had about 403 branches and hopes to end this fiscal with about 425 branches.

In an interaction with BusinessLine, Chawla noted that with branches come multiple new customers and also the opportunity, therefore, to cross sell.

Explaining the strategy for the branch expansion, he said, “As a bank, we are very small right now in terms of our network, which is not even present in some capital cities of the country. So, we have a bit of a catch-up to do.”

Digital push

With the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, the lender has also invested significantly in digital technologies.

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“What digital does is, first, it increases the catchment area for the branch, second, it can give a significant fillip in terms of cost save for operations, and three, in terms of acquisition, it can get a much higher number of scale of customers than what one would get only from the branches,” Chawla said.

“Adding a branch actually serves multiple purposes for our customers, it gives us liability granular, it gives us stability, it gives a fee,” he said.

RBL Bank has also been working on increasing granularity of retail deposits and retiring high-cost chunky money, he further noted.

“Our retail has been growing very well. On the retail side, we are going to end the year at about 60 per cent growth on the CASA,” he said, adding that the bank has also tided over issues emanating after the YES Bank crisis last year when there was a flight of deposits from many private banks.

Published on March 05, 2021

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