ESAF Small Finance Bank, the first private bank from Kerala to get a banking license post-independence, has celebrated its first anniversary on March 11. In the first year of existence, the bank has added 6 lakh new customers and has collected retail deposits worth Rs 2,200 crore, higher than their first year target of Rs.1800 Cr. The bank also opened its 100th branch in connection with the anniversary celebrations.
“In the past one year, we have opened almost 10 new branches every month. We have given 16 lakh new loans and the total loan amount disbursed so far is around 4200 cr. To support the expansion strategy the Organization has plans to increase the capital base,” said K. Paul Thomas, Managing Director & CEO, ESAF Small Finance Bank. The bank currently has 400 banking outlets including 100 new retail branch outlets and has set a target to open 300 more new branches before the end of next fiscal. Among the deposits that ESAF Bank has collected in the one year, the largest chunk came from its branches in Kerala, followed by Tamil Nadu. In terms of total deposit collection, Maharashtra has ranked third after Tamil Nadu.
“We have managed to collect deposits worth Rs 2,200 crore, out of which retail deposit is more than 50 percent, Advances is Rs 3900 crore, and the credit off take has been encouraging. Capital of the bank is Rs 475 crore andwe have a dedicated work force of 4000 plus employees to support the bank”, he added.
Soon the bank will launch a United Payment Interface, a mobile application that will facilitate seamless fund transfer & merchant payments and corporate banking in addition to other banking related services.
“ESAF must be a model for other banks,” said Prof. P.J. Kurien Hon’ble Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, while inaugurating the first anniversary of ESAF.“Our Indian Banks are facing serious issues of bad debts only because of the rich and ESAF small finance bank have proved that the poor ones are truthful enough to repay the loan on time. We have started talking about women empowerment very recently, but ESAF is striving for women empowerment for the past 26 years” he added. ESAF Society has been working among women self help group helping them for self employment since 1992.
As part of the anniversary celebrations ESAF SFB has also launched new retail products ESAF Dankendra, Atal Pension Yojana, Grihajyothi, Garshom, ESAF Saubhagya and ESAF subsidy.
The formation of ESAF Small Finance Bank was the first instance of an NBFC-MFI in Kerala transforming into a Bank. Services of ESAF Small Finance Bank is now available in 10 different states covering Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Pondicherry and Jharkhand. It received an in-principle approval from the RBI in Oct 2016 and the bank was launched on March 10, 2017.