Vishweshar Sahakari Bank ready to beat trend

Maharashtra based Multi-State Bank Vishweshar Sahakari Bank, Pune may not have done well owing to host of factors in last Financial Year but its spirit is soaring high as the management is working on several new plans to beat the trend.

Lauding the BJP the bank Chief Executive Officer Satish Balkrishna Gandhe said “BJP shows positive attitude towards cooperatives. They may not have come up with plans and projects but they wish to strengthen the cooperative sector. The Central Ministry for cooperatives is eager to discuss the issues relevant to the cooperative sector”, he added.

 It bears recall that the UCB has not performed well in the financial year 2017-18 which led to a reduction in the business mix of the bank. However, the bank is resolved to recover in the current financial year achieving a business mix of Rs 2,652 crore.

Talking to this correspondent in Pune, CEO Gandhe said “We have not performed well in the last FY 2017-18 and we are lagging in total business of around Rs 200 crore because of many factors beyond our control like demonetization and GST. The latter in particular has affected our business and we could disburse little credit to the borrowers, among others reasons”, he said with a tinge of sadness.

“As we try to improve our business mix in the current FY to achieve Rs 2652 cr business, our spirits are high and we are optimistic “, said Bank CEO.

“The total business of the bank has decreased from Rs 2,546 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 2,350 crore in 2017-18 with a difference of 200 crore. The bank’s gross NPA rose from 6.60 % as on 2016-17 to at least 7 % as on 2017-18”, he added.

Meanwhile, the auditing of the bank is in progress but there are signs that the bank’s Net Profit may decline from 15.33 crore to Rs 10.80 crore in 2017-18, he lamented.

While lambasting the Central Registrar, the bank CEO said “Central Registrar has not helped us in any way except giving Multi State Status. Perhaps, the Central Registrar not only does not have the necessary infrastructure to monitor Multi State Cooperative Banks but also has no plans and policies for these banks”, he said.

The bank CEO said “We are having a network of 28 branches in two states in Maharashtra and Karnataka. The bank has received Multi State Bank Status on 8 February 2011 after taking over the activities of the ailing Nipani Urban Cooperative Bank”.

The CEO also discussed several challenges being faced by the bank while talking with this correspondent. He said “Interest rate plays a vital role in credit portfolio and whenever someone gets lesser ROI outside they preferred to go there. Normally, PSUs try to catch customers by offering very low ROI so it has a certain impact on our activities. As we cannot offer such a lower rate, our cost of fund doesn’t allow us”, he informed.

“Good borrowers and quality lending are the two main challenges facing us. Given a lending limit for us, we can’t deal with big borrowers”, said Gandhe who had also worked with Janseva Sahakari Bank, Pune as General Manager.

Urging the RBI, the Bank CEO said “The apex bank should treat us on a par with PSUs and commercial banks because all of us are playing on the same field and the investment market is the same for all. Compared to what is happening in PSUs banks, we can proudly say that UCBs are doing a very safe business”, he said.

Vishweshar Sahakari Bank, Pune was established in 1972 under the leadership of Namdeorao Rukari, Bharatsheth Gadve & Baburao Harpale. At present, one of the founder members Bharatsheth Gadve’s son Anil Gadve is the chairman of Bank.

The bank is disbursing 12 percent dividend to its more than 23,000 shareholders. The bank made sincere efforts to acquire the scheduled status in the last FY but could not succeed.

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