Jana Small Finance Bank, formerly known as Janalakshmi Financial Services, said it will initially open 19 branches in 18 states.
The focus will continue to be on financial inclusion, as the core strategy of the bank, with digitally-enabled service offerings, said the Bengaluru headquartered SFB.
"Financial inclusion has been the primary vision of Jana Group. We see the commencement of banking operations duly supported by the digital capabilities to scale quickly and present powerful opportunities to bridge the overall financial inclusion gap," said Ramesh Ramanathan, Co-Founder, Jana Group.
In September 2015, the Reserve Bank of India had granted in-principle approval to 10 applicants for small finance bank (SFB) licenses including Au Financiers, Disha Microfin, Equitas Holdings, ESAF Microfinance, Janalakshmi Financial Services and Ujjivan Financial Services.
SFBs are allowed to undertake basic banking services such as acceptance of deposits, lending to unserved and underserved, including small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and the unorganised sector entities.
The idea of small finance banking operations comes from a government proposal, announced in Budget 2014-15, to begin differentiated banking services with the intent to meet the credit and remittance needs of small businesses, unorganised sector, low income households, farmers and migrant work force.
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