The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed Kolkata based private lender Bandhan Bank to open 40 more branches. This is first such development initiated by RBI after it put a restriction on the bank’s branch opening spree three months back.
“We had sought licences to open 40 branches and the regulator has approved it,” said Shekhar Ghosh, Bandhan Bank Managing Director Chandra.
RBI took stringent steps against the bank after it failed to bring down promoters’ stake to 40 percent as per the licensing agreement. It restricted the bank from opening branches without prior approval and froze Ghosh’s remuneration at the existing level.
As mandated under liscensing condition, the bank is believed to be exploring open offer for sale as one of the options to bring down Bandhan Financial Holdings’ 82,28 percent stake in Bandhan Bank to 40 percent.
The regulator warned that bank that if it fails to meet the August 22 deadline, the license would be at stake.
“We plan to open all the branches for which we received licenses by December 31,” Ghosh said.
The bank opened five branches today, taking the tally to 943 branches.
“This is just another step in our ongoing endeavour of making banking accessible to all,” Ghosh said.