ESAF Small Finance Bank Ltd has received the RBI’s approval for inclusion in the second schedule of the RBI Act, 1934, within two years of its commencement of operations.

This makes ESAF Small Finance Bank the fifth scheduled bank from Kerala. ESAF MFI was among the 10 applicants to receive approval from the RBI to start banking operations in 2016.

“The recognition from the RBI will spur our journey towards financial inclusion. This will give us more leg room and regulatory support to boost the business and gain trust from the stakeholders and customers across India,” said K Paul Thomas, Managing Director and CEO.

Resource mobilisation

Thanks to the scheduled bank tag, ESAF can step up resource mobilisation through the issue of certificate of deposits and inter-bank borrowings at competitive rates of interest.

The bank can also seek funds from trusts, associations, religious institutions and mutual funds.It will also enable the bank to avail higher refinance facility.

Being a scheduled bank, it will also assume more responsibility for the implementation of government schemes and Aadhaar enrolment services.

A new-age social bank, ESAF has a presence in urban, semi-urban, rural and unbanked rural areas with a network of 432 banking outlets across 13 States. It has a customer base of 2.6 million.

The bank’s total loans and advances stand at ₹4,660 crore and the deposit base is over ₹3,300 crore.

The capital- to-risk-weighted-asset (CRAR) ratio stands at 27.39 per cent.

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