Cosmos Bank-BUCB merger talks nearing conclusion

Written by Dilip Bisoi | Bhubaneswar | Updated: Nov 17 2012, 06:54am hrs
Pune-based Cosmos Co-operative Bank is all set to take over Orissas Bhubaneswar Urban Cooperative Bank (BUCB).

Officials of both the banks and the state cooperative departments are giving final shape to the merger. The state government has directed the registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) to seal the deal as soon as possible, state cooperative minister Bikram Arakhu told FE. Top officials from both sides would meet soon to complete the process, he added.

Arakhu said the decision to hand over BUCB to Cosmos was taken to safeguard the interest of depositors and employees. The depositors were not able to get back their funds, while the employees were living in uncertainty, he added.

Sources in the government said RCS Pradipta Kumar Patnaik held a discussion with Cosmos Bank CMD Sashikanta V Bugde about the handover. Cosmos has agreed to protect the interest of the 13,000 depositors who have deposits of R18 crore in the Bhubaneswar Urban Bank. It would also retain the regular employees of the bank, sources said.

Cosmos Bank, the countrys second largest co-operative bank, has presence in six states, including 28 major cities, with over 110 branches and nine extension counters. The bank reported a total business of R20,570 crore and a net profit of R137 crore in 2011-12.