The co-operative banking industry in India plays a very important role in uplifting the economically weaker section of society. Initially started with the aim of helping the poor by providing financial help at a minimal rate of interest, co-operative banks are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India. Over the years, co-operative banks have been facing some tough challenges, but have managed to stay afloat, firmly.
Co-operative banks in India are crucial for the effective functioning of the banking system and they play a pivotal role in the development of the country. They are established under the Co-operative Societies Act of different states in India and the structure is broadly categorised into two sectors, which can be further divided into sub-sectors.
The primary goal of a co-operative bank is mutual help. A co-operative bank extends financial help to the deserving needy at the lowest rate of interest. They function on a ‘no profit no loss’ policy. Co-operative banks brought in a number of improvements for the economically weaker section, such as -
Saraswat Co-operative Bank, formed in 1918, is the topmost co-operative bank in India. It is present in six states and is headquartered in Mumbai. It declared a gross profit of Rs 651.69 crore in the financial year ending 31st March 2020. During the COVID global pandemic, the bank beat all restrictions imposed and registered growth on all banking parameters.
Saraswat Co-operative Bank offers excellent customer support and has very transparent policies which have helped the bank to shape itself up as one of the giants of its type in the country. It won the “Best technology bank of the year” award in 2019.
Cosmos Bank is the first of its kind to open a currency chest, with permission from the Reserve Bank of India. This bank has produced some of the best figures in its market capitalization and profits. These have helped Cosmos bank consolidate its position as one of the best co-operative banks and have helped gain the trust of its customers.
Shamrao Vithal Co-operative Bank is considered a pioneer in India’s co-operative banking industry with its registration going back to 1906 in Mumbai. India’s third-largest co-operative bank, Shamrao Vithal Co-operative Bank’s new corporate identity is SVC Bank.
SVC Bank attempts to serve the largest number of people and has a total business of over Rs.250 bn. The bank has 193 branches across ten different states of India. The Brihan Mumbai Nagari Sahakari Banks Association awarded SVC Bank the “Best Urban Co-operative Bank” award in 2018.
Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank Ltd is the first bank on the list which started its operations after India’s independence in 1964. It was started by the economically weaker section of laborers from Kalachowkie, Sewri, and Parel areas of Mumbai with an initial investment of Rs 5000 and today boasts revenues in billions.
Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank has 111 branches in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat, with 34 branches offering evening banking services. Abhyudaya Co-operative bank has kept itself abreast with new-age technology and has won the “Best IT Enabled Co-operative Bank” award in 2014-15.
Bharat Co-operative Bank was founded in 1978 with headquarters in Mumbai. Even though it is relatively new, the bank has a customer base of around Rs 5.5 lakhs in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat.
Bharat Co-operative Bank has kept up with technology and offers new tech solutions like mobile apps, various card offers, and others. It was awarded the “Best Urban Co-operative Bank” award in 2017 and the “Best Information Technology” award in 2016.
The Thane Janata Sahakari Bank is one of the country’s biggest banks in terms of the number of people it serves daily. Founded in 1972, today it has 136 branches in 5 states.
The bank has been constantly adapting itself to the latest technologies to serve customers in the best way possible. It is the first co-operative bank to make UPI live and has some award-winning mobile applications and payment systems to make transactions and banking easier for the customers.
The Janta Co-operative Bank was founded in Malleshwaram, Bangaluru. Having the names of some prominent names in the country associated with it, the bank is known as one of the most transparent banks with new goals set to be accomplished every year. The bank has a reserve of Rs 1,336.61 crore providing shareholders with a constant dividend of 18% for many years.
The bank has won many awards like, “Best green initiative”, “best ATM initiative” and “best bank in the deposit category of more than Rs 5000 crores”.
Kalupur Co-operative Bank started in 1970 in Kalupur, Gujarat, and has branches in Gujarat and Maharashtra. For some years now, it has been showing yearly profit increments with the year 2019 showing a working capital of Rs 8652.34 crore, with a net profit of about Rs 122 crores.
The bank is customer friendly with some unique facilities that it provides. It is the first co-operative bank in Gujarat to be on RTGS and also the first in Gujarat to get an authorized dealership.
One of the most dependable banks in the country, NKGSB Co-operative Bank established in 1917, has 109 branches across five states. The bank has a set of well-defined goals, values, and principles and works aggressively towards achieving its goals.
The Ahmedabad Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd. was established in 1966 and is popularly known as AMCO BANK. It has a group of 34 branches and focuses on fast and accurate service.
The bank has an authorised capital of Rs 20 crores and a profit of Rs 40.46 crores as of March 2021.
It has to be mentioned that the Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank had been one of the top co-operative banks till some wrong decisions and mismanagement led to its operations being restricted by the RBI in September 2019. This was extended recently until March 2022.
Co-operative banks in India have been dependable sources of financial support for people, since pre-independence days. The co-operative banks faced challenges during demonetization in November 2016, but they offered various apps and net-banking solutions for ease of operations. As per RBI guidelines, deposits with all co-operative banks are insured under the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) up to rupees one lakh.
Co-operative banks are moving towards adopting initiatives to make their banking websites smartphone-compatible and user friendly & upgrading strategies regarding mobile banking. In today's digital world, co-operative banks need to choose the right IT partner who is agile and opens doors to multiple solutions to drive innovation & growth.
Nelito, has been at the forefront, using its 26 years of industry experience and a vast suite of software solutions. Nelito offers its core banking, financial inclusion, KYC, and other surrounding solutions on the cloud. Co-operative Banks, UCBs, PACS, Credit Societies, and NBFC can use these cloud-based solutions and reap the benefit of cloud computing.