Bandhan Financial Services gets RBI nod to set up bank; to begin operations from August 23

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Micro-lender Bandhan Financial Services today 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 here today. 

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).