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Bandhan appoints former chief economic adviser Ashok Lahiri as chairman

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, founder of Bandhan, will be managing director and chief operating officer of the bank.

Namrata Acharya  |  Kolkata 

Bandhan CMD C S Ghosh unveiling the new logo of Bandhan in Kolkata (pic: Subrata Majumder)

Bandhan Bank, to be formally inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on August 23, has appointed Ashok Lahiri, former chief economic adviser, Government of India, as its chairman.

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, founder of Bandhan Financial Services (BFS), the being-born bank’s progenitor, will be managing director and chief operating officer of the bank.

Bandhan also revealed its new logo (designed by Ogilvy and Mather) and names of its eight-member board of directors, after the latter’s first meeting here on Thursday. Among the directors are two former heads of public sector banks, B Sambamurthy, former chairman and managing director of Corporation Bank, and Bhaskar Sen, former CMD of United Bank of India.

“We deliberately did not appoint big names in the senior management, keeping in mind Bandhan’s culture and cost,” said Ghosh.

Bandhan Bank will be broadly divided into two verticals—micro banking and general banking. In the past 18 months, Bandhan has recruited nearly 8,500 people, to be divided into the two verticals.

The bank will have paid-up capital of Rs 3,200 crore, including the final Rs 500 crore of capital infusion before August 23 by International Finance Corporation and the Singapore government-backed GIC.

ALSO READ: Bandhan to start banking operations from Aug 23

The two organisations had made an equity commitment of nearly Rs 1,600 crore in BFS this January. The bank will have a capital adequacy ratio of nearly 34 per cent. BFS would be the non-operative financial holding company of Bandhan Bank.

In the next two years, Bandhan plans to have nearly 1,000 bank branches and recruit 3,000-4,000 more people. In the first year, it expects growth of 20-30 per cent, while adding nearly four million customers, in addition to its existing six million rural borrowers, taking the total number of bank accounts to nearly 10 million.

The bank will have to go for an Initial Public Offer of equity by 2018, by government norms.

ALSO READ: Bandhan plans to open 20 branches

The operations will begin with 630 branches in 27 states, with nearly 104 in West Bengal. There will be about 250 on-site ATMs. Nearly 38 per cent of the bank branches will be in rural areas.

“Interest rates will depend on the cost of funds. We will assess how much of deposits we can collect. Based on the deposits, we will decide on the interest rates. The rates for the micro finance section will be slightly higher than the banking section, as it involves a higher cost of operation,” said Ghosh.

The logo Bandhan has been designed by Ogilvy and Mather.

First Published: Fri, July 10 2015. 00:45 IST