Central Bank of India, a public sector banking institution is one of the oldest and largest commercial banks in India. The bank has their branches in 27 States and four Union Territories in India. The Bank's main business is taking deposits, lending money and making investments. They also offer a wide range of general banking services to our customers, including credit cards, debit cards, cash management and remittance services and collection services. The Bank distributes third party life and non-life insurance policies and mutual funds on an agency basis. They act as agent for various state governments and the Government of India on numerous matters including the collection of taxes and the payment of pensions. They also issue traveller's cheques and gift cheques.
The Bank's deposit taking and lending business is divided into three main areas, namely retail, agriculture and corporate. The retail business provides financial products and services, such as loans and advances for housing, retail trade, automobiles, consumer durables, education and other personal loans to their retail customers. The agricultural banking business offers direct financing to farmers for production and investment, as well as indirect financing for infrastructure development and credit to suppliers of agricultural inputs. The Bank provides commercial banking products and services to corporate and commercial customers, including mid-sized and small businesses and government entities.
The Bank sponsors 7 Regional Rural Banks in collaboration with the state governments of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Also, they entered into agency agreements with Life Insurance Corporation of India and The New India Assurance Company Ltd to distribute their various insurance products, for which they are paid a fee. In order to develop rural entrepreneurship, the Bank launched a Rural Development and Self Employment Training Institute (Rudseti) at Hoshangabad. This provided intensive entrepreneurship training to the rural youth and enables them to take to vocational activities. Also, the Bank launched Financial Literacy and Credit Counseling Centre at Vadkun in Thane, which provides free counseling to the villagers on the various banking products, both deposits and loans and also counseling to distressed borrowers, irrespective of whether they are bank's clients or not.
Central Bank of India was incorporated on December 21, 1911 as The Central Bank of India Ltd and was founded by Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala. In May 1, 1929, the Bank incorporated The Central Bank Executor and Trustee Company Ltd (now known as Centbank Financial and Custodial Services Ltd) as a subsidiary of the Bank to undertake the trustee and executor business and act as executors, administrators and trustees and executes private and public trusts, including, religious and charitable trusts.
In the year 1969, the Bank was nationalized along with 13 other major commercial banks and the Bank is currently owned by the Government of India. The Bank was renamed as Central Bank of India. The Bank introduced the credit card in the name 'Centralcard' in the year 1980. In the year 1984, Indo-Zambia Bank Ltd, a joint venture Bank was incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Zambia, which carries out banking activities in Zambia.
In the year 1991, the Bank incorporated Cent Bank Home Finance Ltd (formerly known as Apna Ghar Vitta Nigam Ltd), a housing finance institution registered with the National Housing Bank as a subsidiary of the Bank for providing long term finance for the purchase or construction of houses in India. In the year 1994, Quick Cheque Collection Service (QCC) & Express Service was set up to enable speedy collection of outstation cheques.
In the year 2007, the Bank restructured their entire paid up capital by conversion of an amount aggregating Rs 8,000 million out of the equity share capital of Rs 11,241.40 million into perpetual non-cumulative preference share capital, while retaining the balance amount aggregating Rs 3,241.41 million as equity share capital of the Bank. The Bank entered into agreements with UTI Asset Management Company Pvt Ltd and Tata Asset Management Ltd for the sale of their mutual fund products, for which the Bank is paid on a commission basis and fee basis, respectively.
During the year 2007-08, the Bank opened 96 branches and 1 new extension counters, upgraded 22 extension counters to full fledged branches and merged 4 branches and 3 extension counters with the base office. The Bank launched two retail lending scheme, such as Cent Udaan, which is the scheme for educational loan for commercial pilot training courses and Cent Swabhiman, a reverse mortgage loan scheme for senior citizens, in which senior citizens can monetise their residential property by mortgaging the same and in turn get periodic payments or lumpsum payment.
In May 2007, the Bank entered into an agreement with Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India) Pvt Ltd to distribute units of schemes of Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund. In July 2007, the Bank entered capital market with their maiden initial public offer. The IPO received stupendous response and was successfully oversubscribed by 62.07 times-the highest ever subscription received by any bank in India. After this issue, the Government of India's shareholding in the Bank reduced to 80.20%. In March 15, 2008, the Bank entered into a MoU with SME Rating Agency of India Ltd for rating of SME borrowers.
Central Bank of India was conferred with the 1st Award under National Awards for Excellence in MSE Lending based on their outstanding performance in lending to Micro and Small Enterprises during the year 2007-08.
In December 29, 2008, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company, one of India's leading mutual fund houses, entered into a distribution tie-up with Central Bank of India. Under the agreement Central Bank of India will offer the entire bouquet of Kotak Mutual Fund products from their branches.
During the year 2008-09, the Bank opened 190 branches and 22 Extension Counters were upgraded into full-fledged branches. Also, two branches namely, Cuffe Parade branch and Versova Road branch were merged with Colaba Causeway branch and Seven Bunglows branch respectively. In August 2008, the Bank launched two premium visa credit card products - Visa Platinum and Visa Gold credit cards. They completed roll-out of 400 ATMs by October 2008 as per Phase-l implementation.
During the year, 3 RRBs namely Satpura Kshetriya Gramin Bank, Chambal Gwalior Kshetriya Gramin Bank and Ratlam Mandsaur Kshetriya Gramin Bank in Madhya Pradesh were amalgamated and formed a new entity with the name as Satpura Narmada Kshetriya Gramin Bank. Also, 2 RRBs namely Uttar Bihar Kshetriya Gramin Bank and Kosi Kshetriya Gramin Bank in Bihar were amalgamated and formed a new entity with the name Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank.
During the year 2009-10, the Bank opened 49 branches, upgraded 11 extension counters to full fledged branches and merged 1 branch. As per the Government of India notification, 2 RRBs namely Ballia Kshetriya Gramin Bank and Etawaha Kshetriya Gramin Bank in Uttar Pradesh were amalgamated and formed a new entity with the name as Ballia Etawaha Gramin Bank.
During the year, the Bank introduced new schemes to cater to market demand. These are Short Term Loan to companies eligible for issuance of Commercial Paper, Production Equipment Finance Scheme, Mibor linked short term loan for large corporate and Cent Swabhiman Plus (Annuity product) Cent Doctor and Cent Personal Gold Loan for Retail segments. Also, they commenced loan syndication which has elicited good response from the market.
In March 2009, the Bank launched prepaid Cent-Gift Cards and got license for issuance of prepaid Travel Cards in foreign currency. They entered into tie-up arrangement with HCL Infosystems Ltd., for providing need based finance for purchase HCL computers and also joined hands with Future Group for marketing Retail products to the customers at Big Bazaar Departmental Store all over India.
During the year 2010-11, the company opened 82 new branches and upgraded 53 extension counters into full fledged branches. They also opened 17 Mid Corporate branches and 1 Asset Recovery Branch. They opened 2 temporary branches for Common Wealth Games at Delhi which were closed. The ATM network was being expanded on a large scale. Banks ATM network in year 2010-11 was expanded from 400 to 1006. The Bank has increased their paid-up capital by way of issue of Preference Shares in the form of Perpetual Non-Cumulative Preference Shares (PNCPS) to the tune of Rs 250 crore to Government of India.
In August 2011, the Bank entered into an agency tie-up with Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company for selling their insurance products. The products will be customised for the Bank and will be sold through 3,728 bank branches.
The Bank is in the process of installing additional 900 ATMs including 150 bio-metric ATMs. They are also planned to install 1000 ATMs in rural areas and 1500 off site ATMs. The Bank is also in the process for having NEFT, direct Tax payment facility through ATMs.