Micro-lender Bandhan Financial Services on Wednesday said it has received final nod from the Reserve Bank to set up a universal bank and will commence operations from August 23.
The entity will be named as Bandhan Bank.
“We will launch the bank in Kolkata, where Bandhan is headquartered, on August 23,” its Chairman and Managing Director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh told reporters on Wednesday.
Bandhan had received the RBI’s in-principle banking licence in April last year, along with infrastructure finance company IDFC.
“Our plan is to open around 500-600 branches across the country with a special focus on the east and north-eastern region. We will be a bank for all, but our primary objective will be to serve the unbanked,” Ghosh said.
He added that the bank will cater especially to micro, small and medium enterprises.
Bandhan had recently raised Rs 1,020 crore equity from International Finance Corporation, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, and the state-run Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
Following the equity infusion, its net worth has gone up to Rs 2,700 crore, well above the RBI’s stipulation of a minimum capital base of Rs 500 crore for new banks.