The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Corp Bank plans global foray, new credit card

Calcutta, Dec. 18: Corporation Bank will discontinue its co-branded credit card and come up with a credit card of its own in the next financial year.

The Mangalore-based bank may also tap the overseas market using Life Insurance Corporation’s infrastructure. LIC has a 27 per cent stake in the bank.

The bank currently has a co-branded card with Canara Bank. Talking to the newspersons here today K. Cherian Varghese, chairman and managing director of the bank, said: “We have decided to discontinue the co-branded card and come up with our own card. We will also be launching a debit card soon.”

Commenting on plans to explore the overseas market, Varghese said: “All the banks are now entering the overseas market. We had not given it a serious thought earlier. We felt that the bank did not have enough financial strength.”

“But since the markets are opening up we see a lot of opportunity. A study will be conducted to gauge the potential in these markets. We will restrict ourselves to the West Asian markets. Moreover, we can take advantage of the LIC’s premises in those countries,” he added.

However, he ruled out any possibility of LIC increasing its stake in the bank.

The bank has a capital adequacy ratio of 22 per cent and the non-performing asset level of the bank is only 2.85 per cent. The bank has issued 23 notices under the new NPA Ordinance to recover Rs 30 crore.

The bank has recently announced a voluntary retirement scheme for 163 officers.

Varghese was in the city to open two new branches and five ATMs. The bank will increase its ATM network to 500 by the end of the current fiscal. The bank has agreed to share its ATM network with other banks that do not have a large ATM network.

Corporation Bank has identified 17 more sites to open ATMs to take its network to 34 in Calcutta. The bank has 17 ATMs and 15 branches at present in the city.

Oriental Bank of Commerce, Karnataka Bank and Bank of Rajasthan have tied up with Corporation Bank to share the ATM network. Clients of these banks can access and operate accounts at their respective banks through the Corporation Bank ATM network. Currently 92 per cent of the bank’s business is handled through its computerised branches.

The bank has received licences from the Reserve Bank to open 20 more branches. Verghese said that one more branch in Howrah and one each in Siliguri and Asansol are on the anvil.

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