Visakhapatnam Co-operative Bank (VCB), set up in 1916 and ranked no 1 among urban co-operative banks in the south, achieved an important landmark on Sunday by opening its fiftieth branch at Dilshuknagar in Hyderabad city, according to a press release.

The bank has plans to have at least five branches in each district of Andhra Pradesh. The bank, which has deposits of Rs 2,679 crore and advances of Rs 1916 crore, has at present 50 branches spread over AP and Telangana.

“We have a strong foundation and customer goodwill for so many decades. We are waiting for scheduled bank status by Reserve Bank of India for a long time to expand our branch network,” VCB emeritus chairman and former MLA M. Anjaneyulu said on the occasion.

He said the bank, which had emerged as the No. 1 bank in South India, said that the bank had only a business volume of Rs 1 crore in 1983 when he took over as the chairman and since then it had grown by leaps and bounds. The bank has now 400 employees.

Anjaneyulu said now the bank had adopted new technologies to introduce core banking, internet banking and SMS alerts. The bank was also slowly increasing the number of ATMs. The bank became the leading bank in number of branches in South India six to seven years ago, he added.

The bank which paid a dividend of 12 per cent last year, was poised for 10 per cent growth during the current fiscal. The bank had acquired Bobbili, Ramachandrapuram, Ongole and Balaji cooperative banks, which were at liquidation stage in the past few years, he added.