The Top 10 Co-Operative Banks in India - 2023

Updated On : May 2023

The significance of cooperative banks in a burgeoning nation such as India cannot be underestimated. The cooperative banking sector has played a pivotal role in uplifting the socio-economically underprivileged strata of the Indian populace. Cooperative banks were initially established with the noble objective of liberating the destitute from the clutches of unscrupulous moneylenders who demanded exorbitant interest rates. During the early 20th century, the Cooperative Society Act was enacted, which enabled the formation of cooperative organizations that provided credit to its members.

These regional organizations were solely dedicated to serving the local community. As time progressed, the cooperative societies flourished and earned the distinction of being recognized as banks. Consequently, certain stipulations outlined in the Banking Regulations Act were imposed on the cooperative societies, and thus they metamorphosed into cooperative banks of India.

Functions and Types of Cooperative Banks in India

In India, the primary role of cooperative banks is to extend financial assistance to the worthy masses at the most nominal interest rates. An ostensible contrast between a commercial bank and a cooperative bank lies in their approach to revenue generation. While commercial banks pursue the maximization of profits, cooperative banks operate on the principle of “no profit and no loss”.

Cooperative Banks in India are categorized into three hierarchical tiers.

  • Tier-1 State Cooperative Banks These function as the apex institutions of all the cooperative banks within a particular state. These banks facilitate the connection between cooperative banks and The Reserve Bank of India.
  • Tier-2 District/Central Cooperative Banks These operate at the district level. Their primary role is to dispense funds to the primary cooperative banks.
  • Tier-3 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACSs) These constitute the grassroots level of this hierarchical structure. These are situated in either rural or urban areas and directly cater to the local populace by offering loans and deposit account opening services.

How has India benefitted by Cooperative Banks?

The inception of cooperative banks in India has led to a significant transformation in the agricultural landscape, especially in rural areas. One of the noteworthy changes brought about by cooperative banks is the liberation of farmers from the clutches of usurious moneylenders, as these banks offer loans at significantly lower interest rates.

In addition, cooperative banks have also played a crucial role in promoting saving habits among individuals, thanks to their diverse deposit schemes. Furthermore, cooperative banks provide loans for the acquisition of better farming equipment and high-quality seeds, thereby leading to improved farming practices. Moreover, cooperatives extend financial support to people to commence their own businesses, fostering a culture of self-employment.

Although cooperative banks offer loans at more attractive rates than commercial banks and other lending institutions, their loan approval process is often arduous and protracted.

List of Top 10 Best Cooperative Banks in India

  • Saraswat Cooperative Bank

    Established in Mumbai, Maharashtra in 1918, Saraswat Cooperative Bank has expanded its operations to become one of the prominent financial institutions in India, serving numerous states through a vast network of branches. Its portfolio of financial products includes a range of accounts, loans, insurance, and investment options, bolstered by innovative technological advancements such as mobile banking, online bill payments, and internet banking.

    Saraswat Cooperative Bank is recognized for its client-focused approach and unwavering commitment to providing excellent customer service, which has earned it numerous industry accolades and awards, including the Best Urban Cooperative Bank Award. The bank operates on a cooperative model, reflecting the principles of mutual support and aid while prioritizing social welfare and community development, reflected in the bank's philanthropic endeavors that span education, healthcare, and rural development initiatives.

    In the span of a century, Saraswat Bank has grown to become the most prominent Urban Co-operative Bank in India, surpassing its competitors and flourishing in six states, namely Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka. As of March 2023, with a total business of over Rs. 75,500 crore, 444 branches, the Bank remains committed to advancing its heritage through excellent service.

  • Shamrao Vithal Cooperative Bank (SVC Bank)

    Established in 1906 with the noble objective of aiding the less fortunate members of the community with their economic enterprises and promoting savings, SVC Co-operative Bank Limited (previously known as The Shamrao Vithal Co-operative Bank Ltd.) has been at the forefront of innovation and new initiatives. The bank has introduced several novel schemes, such as Fixed Deposits, Savings Bank Deposits, and Cumulative Deposits Scheme in 1907, Co-operative Stores in 1910, and Cash Credit Loan Scheme in 1913.

    As part of its continued efforts to serve its members better, the bank also launched various new offerings, such as remittance by Draft in 1911, an Education Fund, a Fidelity Guarantee Fund in 1927, and a Distress Relief Fund in 1931. With its relentless pursuit of excellence, the bank has introduced several pioneering schemes, including Safe Deposit Vaults in 1964, Industrial Financing in 1966, and Cash Certificates in 1975.

    The bank's notable achievements include the conferment of "Scheduled Bank Status" in 1988 and the crossing of deposits of 13,000 crores in FY 2016. In 2002, the bank erected its Corporate Office - SVC Tower at Vakola, and in 2003, it implemented the Genius I Core Banking Solution across all its branches.

    Thanks to its forward-thinking approach, the bank was granted an AD-I License in 2007, enabling it to offer Core Banking software services to smaller co-operative banks. The bank marked a significant milestone by successfully completing its first software sale in 2006, and by 2010, it had extended its software sales services to 25 banks.

    Finally, in a bold move to expand its reach and better serve its members, the bank inaugurated its 198th branch at Majaswadi, Mumbai, in 2023, showcasing its unwavering commitment to innovative growth and dedicated service.

  • Abhyudaya Cooperative Bank

    The Bank's journey to success began more than five decades ago when it was granted Scheduled Bank Status by the Reserve Bank of India in September 1988. With a remarkable growth trajectory, it emerged as one of the leading Urban Co-operative Banks in the nation, with a strong presence in key locations such as Metropolitan Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Raigad, Nagpur, Nashik, Nanded, Kankavali, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, and Pen in Maharashtra State, Vadodara and Ahmedabad in Gujarat State, Udupi and Mangalore in Karnataka State.

    Subsequently, the Bank took another significant stride when it was registered as a Multi-State Co-operative Bank by the Central Registrar in New Delhi on 11th January 2007. Although the Bank's area of operation was restricted to three states, namely Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka, it continued to expand its reach. As a testament to its growth, the Bank effectuated the merger of three other co-operative banks - Shree Krishna Sahakari Bank Ltd. in Vadodara, Gujarat State, Janatha Co-op. Bank Ltd. in Udupi, Karnataka State, and Manekchowk Co-op. Bank Ltd. in Ahmedabad, Gujarat State.

    The bank has received the coveted IDRBT Banking Technology Excellence Award in recognition of its exemplary IT-enabled co-operative banking services during 2014-15. Additionally, the bank has also been honored with the Lokmat Corporate Excellence Award for its commendable performance in the domain of brand excellence in the banking sector.

  • Cosmos Cooperative Bank

    For more than a century, The Cosmos Co-operative Bank Ltd. has been unswervingly committed to serving its vast customer base of over 20 lakh across 152 branches in 7 States. With its unwavering focus on professionalism and ethical standards, the Bank has set an exemplary standard for co-operative banks. It has demonstrated a deep understanding of customers' needs by providing personalized banking services through product designs that cater to a diverse range of customers. As a member of BCSBI, the Bank upholds the highest standards of banking practices for its customers.

    The Board of Directors consists of distinguished and erudite professionals from various fields who bring their proficient approach to policy-making. The Bank is managed by a highly qualified, dedicated, dynamic, and sincere management team. Cosmos Bank is not merely a Multi-state Scheduled Co-operative Bank, but a professionally managed 'Financial Institution' that continues to innovate and evolve with the times.

  • Bharat Cooperative Bank

    The Bharat Co-operative Bank (Mumbai) Limited obtained its Banking License in 1978. With its clean image and young team of personnel, the bank has carved its niche as one of the best Banks in the Metropolis, serving more than 5.5 lacs customers. The Reserve Bank of India had conferred scheduled status to the Bank on 22nd April 1996, and subsequently, the Bank registered as Multi-State Scheduled Co-operative Bank on 26th September 1997.

    In the illustrious financial year of 2018-2019, The Maharashtra Urban Co-op. Banks’ Federation Ltd. bestowed upon the distinguished institution the remarkable "Best Bank Award" in the esteemed category of Banks' having deposits of `5000 crore and above, positioning it at an outstanding 3rd Rank. Notably, the prestigious Banking Frontiers (FCBA 2019) has also deemed the Bank to be the proud recipient of the "Best Mobile Banking App" accolade in the grand Large UCB category for the fiscal year of 2019-2020, highlighting the institution's technological finesse and expertise.

    Over the past decade, the Bank has made significant progress in terms of branch openings, deposit mobilization, resource deployment, and profitability. The shareholders have also benefited from attractive dividends.

  • TJSB Sahakari Bank Ltd

    The Thane Janata Sahakari Bank Ltd (TJSB) commenced its journey in the year 1972 in the cooperative field and over the years, it has evolved into a multi-state scheduled cooperative bank. Since then, it has been infused with tremendous dynamism by the Board of Directors, which, in turn, has led to an unwavering loyalty of its clientele and devotion of staff. Consequently, TJSB has established a strong foundation and emerged as one of the foremost multi-state scheduled co-operative Banks in the country.

    The bank presently operates a network of 52 branches and 1 extension counter, spread primarily across Maharashtra. TJSB has implemented core banking solution (CBS) with great success, and has also developed an array of technology-enabled channels, such as ATM, Internet, and Mobile, to reach out to customers. With a network of 55 ATMs located across Thane, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune & Nashik, the bank has demonstrated its commitment towards providing customers with easy access to banking services.

    TJSB has also installed cheque depository machines at 42 branches, thereby becoming the first cooperative bank in the country to do so. Additionally, the bank has enabled real-time gross settlement (RTGS) transactions and entered into alliances with other banks, allowing its customers to access over 60,000 ATMs. Remarkably, TJSB has introduced an Automated Cheque Issuance Machine, a first-of-its-kind in the country, which allows customers to obtain personalised cheque books round the clock.

  • Janata Sahakari Bank Ltd

    Janata Sahakari Bank Ltd. in Pune has been making remarkable progress with the support and contributions of its shareholders, customers, employees, and well-wishers. The bank has an extensive network of 71 branches and 2 extension counters spread across Maharashtra and Gujarat State. As a result of its progress, the Reserve Bank of India has included the bank in the second schedule, enabling it to accept deposits from government and semi-government corporations. In return, government and semi-government corporations also accept the bank's drafts.

    The bank had attained the status of a Multi-State Co-Op Bank under the Multi-State Co-Op Societies Act 2002, after receiving the recognition of a Multi-State Scheduled Bank in 2012. In 2005, the bank implemented Core Banking Technology, which has enabled it to provide prompt and accurate services to its customers, allowing transactions to be carried out from any branch through the Any Branch Banking facility.

    The bank places great emphasis on employee training, providing extensive training through its own training centre and recognised by the Co-operative Department of the Government of Maharashtra, to upgrade their skills for better customer service. The training center also imparts training to the employers of the co-operative banks.

  • Kalupur Commercial Cooperative Bank

    Kalupur Commercial Co-operative Bank, an esteemed co-operative bank located in Gujarat, India, has been providing a plethora of banking services since its establishment in 1970. With its headquarters based in Ahmedabad, the bank operates through a network of 50 branches and boasts over 800 employees. Renowned for its exceptional customer service, the bank has received numerous accolades for its performance in the financial industry.

    Apart from traditional banking services such as savings and current accounts, fixed deposits, and loans, Kalupur Bank also offers a gamut of digital banking services, including mobile banking, internet banking, and SMS banking. These innovative services enable customers to access their accounts and execute transactions from anywhere, anytime, making banking a hassle-free experience.

    In essence, Kalupur Commercial Co-operative Bank is a trustworthy and dependable financial institution that provides an extensive range of banking services to its customers, making it a go-to destination for all their financial needs.

  • The Punjab State Cooperative Bank

    Established in 1949 and headquartered in Chandigarh, Punjab Cooperative Bank is a cooperative bank based in the Indian state of Punjab that offers a broad spectrum of banking services, including savings accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits, loans, and online banking. Punjab Cooperative Bank has carved out a niche in the banking industry by providing specialized services to the agricultural community in Punjab. The bank caters to farmers by providing crop loans, Kisan credit cards, and financing for the purchase of agricultural equipment.

    In addition to its agricultural banking services, Punjab Cooperative Bank has embraced the digital era by offering a range of digital banking services, such as mobile banking, internet banking, and ATM services. These services enhance banking convenience and accessibility for customers. All in all, Punjab Cooperative Bank is a dependable and reputable financial institution that focuses on meeting the banking needs of the agricultural community in Punjab. The bank's specialized services for farmers, coupled with its adoption of digital banking technologies, position it as a strong contender in the Indian banking sector.

  • NKGSB Co-operative Bank Ltd

    Founded on the 26th of September, 1917 by the esteemed Sheth Shantaram Mangesh Kulkarni, NKGSB Bank has established itself as a multi-state financial institution with a broad area of operation spanning across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and the Union territories of Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. This avant-garde bank has evolved to offer an extensive range of exceptional personal and corporate banking services, catering to the diverse needs of its esteemed clients.

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