The growth journey of Jharkhand State Cooperative Bank has just begun after amalgamating 7 DCCBs:
The Jharkhand State Cooperative Bank (JSCB) was established in 2002 after the formation of Jharkhand state. Bihar SCB transferred assets and liabilities of 5 of its branches situated in Jharkhand to JSCB in 2012. JSCB was formed with 5 branches situated at Hatia, Bistupur, Golmuri, Jamshedpur and Bokaro, inherited from its Bihar counterpart.
The government of Jharkhand took a decision to have a 2-tier cooperative credit structure. Under this, all district cooperative banks and their branches merged and became branches of JSCB.
AMALGAMATION OF 7 DCCBS
JSCB received its banking licence from RBI in August 2012 to start operation as an apex cooperative institution in Jharkhand. Subsequently, it applied to RBI for amalgamation of the existing 7 district central cooperative banks (barring Dhanbad CCB) into a single entity which was approved by RBI. A 2-tier cooperative credit structure for the state with an apex bank was then created.
Says Brajesh Nath, CEO of JSCB: “201718 is the first financial year of the combined entity. It’s a unique structure, a first in the country. We started functioning with the existing network of 105 branches of the erstwhile DCCBs and 2808 PACS/LAMPS (Large-Sized Multi-Purpose Societies) and other type of societies, at the grass root level affiliated to it.”
The bank now has about 400 employees. New recruits are all CBS trained and it has been sending select employees to the Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), Lucknow for training. Nath says 80% of the staffers are computer literate and the bank had sent some 200 employees to BIRD. Meanwhile, it also organizes refresher courses continuously. “We upgrade people, the same way we upgrade our IT systems, as ongoing exercise,” says he.
Nath, who started his career in Nabard, says the bank wants to expand its customer base. It has more than 5 lakh live accounts and more than 1 lakh dormant accounts. It is making efforts to covert the dormant accounts operational. It has been arranging camps and taking part in trade fairs to increase the customer base. Besides, it has also been organizing special credit drives throughout the year. More recently, it has participated in an expo organized by Khadi Gramodyog in Ranchi. The bank provides a number of services which are at par with those offered by commercial banks, like CBS platform, locker facility, net banking (view option only), micro payment system, E-Kuber, etc. Nabard has sanctioned a mobile van for taking up promotional work
BUSINESS VOLUME UP
Since amalgamation of the 7 DCCBs, the performance of the bank has improved. “Our total deposits have risen to `2367 crore as on 30 November 2017 from `1847 crore as on 1 April 2017. During this period, CASA deposits have shot up to `1127 crore from `831 crore and CRAR to 14% from 12.17%,” says Nath.
The bank is approaching government departments/societies for deposit mobilization and retail funds are being mobilized through its 1500-strong BC network in the state. The bank offers loans to SHGs and JLGs in a big way. Nath says fresh loans and advances in the first 8 months of the current financial year thereby touching the `50 crore mark. Mostly, the bank has provided agri loans to farmers, personal loans to salaried class and project loans to agriculture and allied activities.
LATEST IT INITIATIVES
JSCB implemented CBS in 2012. It made effective use of technology for a seamless merger of branches of the 7 DCCBs into a unified structure even as it strove to provide all technology-enabled services. It is also conducting ‘Going - Digital’ programs and camps at its rural branches and FLCs. It has received MICR code for all its 105 branches.
Says Nath: “Today, we are offering RTGS/NEFT/ATM/ RuPay Debit card/RuPay KCC etc to our corporate, institutional and retail customers, farmers and small traders and businessmen. Our BCs make use of micro ATM devices. Our CBS vendor Nelito offers special training to staffers. We have submitted our application to start mobile banking to RBI so that we can extend this facility to our customers.”
The bank’s official website was launched by Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das. On that occasion, he also released RuPay cards. The bank had engaged 180 IT-proficient personnel to man its technology infrastructure it needs some 550 personnel more.
The bank could reduce the total NPA from 42.97% in the beginning of 201718 to 35.26% as on 30 November 2017. It launched a one-time settlement scheme this year and had set up a recovery cell, conducts periodic visits to/direct contact with customers and takes legal action in order to further bring down the NPAs.
4th AGM of the bank was inaugurated by the bank’s administrator Vijay Kumar Singh, IAS, under whose guidance JSCB is presently being run. He is credited with many new initiatives. The bank is planning to expand the use of micro payment system through bank mitras, undertake computerization of LAMPS and PACS. Nath gives specifics: “We have applied to RBI for 138 new branches across the state. Nabard has sanctioned 15 ATMs and 6 financial literacy centers. Our focus will be on the use of technology to reach larger number of customers. Some of the new branches and ATMs may start from this FY itself.”