REPCO Bank urges Centre to convert it as commercial bank

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Tiruchirapalli, Feb 7 (UNI) The Repatriates Cooperative Finance and Development Bank Ltd (REPCO Bank) has urged the Centre to convert the bank as a full-fledged commercial bank.

Addressing a press conference here today, the Bank MD M Balasubramanian said the Union Finance Ministry had agreed in principal to convert it as a commercial bank. In fact, the Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram had agreed to provide additional capital base for converting the bank, he added.

Meanwhile, the State Governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had also agreed to increase its capital with the bank.

He said the bank was also planning to comeout with a non banking financial company in the name of Repco MSME (Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises) with the assistance of the Small Industriues Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for its specialized exposure in MSME sector.

The NBFC would be launched during June next with an initial capital of Rs 300 crore. While the REPCO Bank would give Rs 10 crore, and SIDBI would give Rs three crore rest would be mobilized from private financial institutions, he added.

He claimed that the bank was providing micro financial assistance to 10,000 women SHGs at present.

The bank surpassed its current year target turnover of Rs 2,100 crore by December 2007 and was hoping to touch atleast Rs 2,400 crore by the end of the fiscal.

He said the bank's capital adequacy ratio was 9.1 or 9.2 per cent as against the RBI's stipulation of 9 per cent.

Earlier Mr Balasubramanian, attending the shifting function of the branch to a new compound here, said that there were 49 branches of the bank all over South India, of which 29 were located in Tamil Nadu. By March end new branches would be opened at Hyderabad, Mysore, Sivakasi and Villupuram, he added.

He said 31 branches of the bank were already brought under the core banking system and had proposed to introduce ATMs in all the branches.

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