Bank out­reach

FrontLine - - SPOTLIGHT -

LONG be­fore cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR) be­came a buzz­word among In­dian cor­po­rates ea­ger to ad­ver­tise their com­mit­ment to so­cial causes, Ca­nara Bank had qui­etly and with lit­tle fuss em­barked on wor­thy so­cial causes. In fact, even be­fore Am­mem­bal Subba Rao Pai founded the Ca­nara Hindu Per­ma­nent Fund Ltd in July 1906, he was al­ready well re­garded as a pas­sion­ate pro­moter of ed­u­ca­tion. He was as­so­ci­ated with sev­eral in­sti­tu­tions—in­clud­ing the Ca­nara High School, the Ca­nara Girls’ School, the Ca­nara Hos­tel, the Man­ga­lore Union and the De­pressed Classes Mis­sion—founded to pro­mote wor­thy so­cial causes. To para­phrase a fa­mous cor­po­rate tagline, he also founded a bank. In that sense, the idea of the bank be­ing a so­cially re­spon­si­ble cor­po­rate ci­ti­zen was sewn into its DNA at the time of its found­ing.

The idea of set­ting up the Ca­nara High School was born in

Madras (now Chen­nai) where

Subba Rao Pai had his col­le­giate ed­u­ca­tion, in­clud­ing his qual­i­fi­ca­tion as a lawyer from the Madras

Law Col­lege. The school started func­tion­ing from June 30, 1891, and Subba Rao Pai was among the trustees of the board. It func­tioned from rented premises be­fore shift­ing to Dongerk­ery Road in Man­ga­lore (now Man­galuru).

To­day, the school func­tions from a large cam­pus in the heart of the city. In 1894, Subba Rao Pai founded the Ca­nara Girls’ School.

Ca­nara Bank es­tab­lished the

banks did in the last few years. Bar­ring a few power projects, the bank does not have much of an ex­po­sure to in­fra­struc­ture projects that have be­come un­vi­able or lack ad­e­quate eq­uity sup­port from pro­mot­ers of the projects. Re­mark­ably, for a bank that is based in Ben­galuru, it did not lend to the now-de­funct and scan­dal-hit King­fisher Air­lines. Part of this is ex­plained by the bank’s “con­ser­va­tive” lend­ing phi­los­o­phy, as Manoha­ran ex­plains in the ac­com­pa­ny­ing in­ter­view. But this is not the only rea­son why Manoha­ran ap­pears op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture.

Clearly, there are other rea­sons for be­ing hope­ful in a time of stress for most banks. In or­der to deal with the stress in the In­dian bank­ing sec­tor, the RBI now has a Prompt Cor­rec­tive Ac­tion (PCA) frame­work that iden­ti­fies ail­ing banks at the ear­li­est. The PCA is trig­gered Ca­nara Bank Ju­bilee Ed­u­ca­tion Fund (CBJEF) in 1956 in com­mem­o­ra­tion of the bank’s golden ju­bilee. The fund was ini­tially meant to of­fer schol­ar­ships to stu­dents, par­tic­u­larly girls. Later, a book bank was es­tab­lished in Ben­galuru, which now has nearly 14,000 text­books for stu­dents pre­par­ing for pro­fes­sional cour­ses. It has more than 9,000 mem­bers. Un­der the bank’s CSR ini­tia­tive in 2017­18, the bank has con­trib­uted Rs.3 lakh for a book bank in Sa­gar and Rs.2 lakh for the one in Ben­galuru.

In 1961, the bank spon­sored the Ca­nara Bank Re­lief & Wel­fare So­ci­ety (CBR&WS) to run hol­i­day camps for ru­ral chil­dren. The CBR&WS later trans­formed into a big in­sti­tu­tion that runs Se­vak­shetra Hos­pi­tal, a home for aban­doned chil­dren called Mathruch­haya and an old­age home in Ben­galuru. Un­der the CSR ini­tia­tive of the bank, an amount of Rs.35.6 lakh has been re­leased for 2017­18 to­wards ren­o­va­tion of the so­ci­ety’s Braille Re­source Cen­tre in Ben­galuru.

Ca­nara Vidya­jyothi is a scheme spe­cially for­mu­lated to pro­vide schol­ar­ships to mer­i­to­ri­ous girl stu­dents from Sched­uled Caste and Sched­uled Tribe cat­e­gories and it was launched in 2013­14. The scheme is im­ple­mented through ru­ral, semi­ur­ban and ur­ban branches of the bank. A to­tal amount of Rs.14.38 crore has been dis­trib­uted since in­cep­tion un­til March 2018. Nearly Rs.4 crore has been re­leased as schol­ar­ship for the year 2017­18. The bank has also con­trib­uted Rs.41.69 lakh for the Swachh Bharat scheme.

A Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

when banks breach reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments per­tain­ing to three key pa­ram­e­ters: min­i­mum cap­i­tal ad­e­quacy, rate of re­turn on as­sets and a thresh­old for the pro­por­tion of non-per­form­ing as­sets in a bank’s books. Of the 21 pub­lic sec­tor banks, 11 are un­der the PCA frame­work, which re­stricts their op­er­a­tions. It is pos­si­ble that Manoha­ran’s con­fi­dence arises from the fact that Ca­nara Bank is not un­der the PCA frame­work. Cru­cially, this im­plies that the bank is in a po­si­tion to ben­e­fit from op­por­tu­ni­ties for credit growth be­cause sev­eral of its com­peti­tors would be un­able to par­tic­i­pate in lend­ing ac­tiv­ity. Although Ca­nara Bank’s net NPAS are cur­rently higher than the pre­scribed norm, the bank is con­fi­dent of rein­ing them in soon. Nat­u­rally, the por­tion of the busi­ness that may have gone to other banks may come to Ca­nara Bank. $

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.