|A bank official interacts with customers at an outreach event.
Assam Gramin Vikash Bank (AGVB), the largest regional rural bank of the Northeast, plans to further augment its self-help group credit linkage in 2012-13 after retaining the top spot during the previous fiscal.
The bank has over the past seven financial years, been promoting and nurturing self-help groups in the state. It has also been instrumental in forming the groups and helping them market their products.
“We enjoy a share of 52 per cent in SHG credit linkage. The bank had financed 15,398 self-help groups during 2011-12. As on March 31, 2012, the total number of credit linked SHGs has gone up to 1,16,661. Next fiscal, we plan to cover 20,000 groups,” the bank’s chairman, S.N. Sahu, told The Telegraph.
The Centre had amalgamated four regional rural banks sponsored by the United Bank of India to form the Assam Gramin Vikash Bank in January 2006. The bank has augmented its overall business from Rs 2,513 crore at its inception to Rs 7,485 crore as on March 31, 2012.
“The growth at the end of 2011-12 was pegged at 16.05 per cent with a total business of Rs 7,485 crore as against a total business of Rs 6,449 crore on March 31, 2011. We are targeting an overall business growth of 18.64 per cent by the end of this fiscal,” Sahu said.
In terms of profitability, the bank has achieved a 54 per cent growth, registering a net profit (after tax) of Rs 54.01 crore at the end of 2011-12, as against Rs 35.67 crore at the end of the previous fiscal.
It covers 25 districts through its 369 branches, with eight new branches having been opened during 2011-12.
“A proactive approach has helped boost growth. Today, we are among the top 10 banks in the country. The integration of all the branches with the United Bank of India is in line with our objective of offering better products and services to our clients. We are looking to further streamline the system. Core banking solution has been implemented in all our 369 branches. We plan to open another 31 branches and set up 100 ATMs during this fiscal,” the official said.
The bank’s client base has increased to 49.88 lakh, which is around 16 per cent of the state’s population. “In other words, every sixth person of the state has a bank account with the Assam Gramin Vikash Bank,” Sahu added.
It has been actively associated in the financial inclusion programme launched by Centre. “Already 816 villages, with a population over 2,000, have been covered, which is a share of 34 per cent,” R.K. Sarma, chief manager (P&D and chairman’s secretariat), said.
The bank has, over the years, also extended loans to 1, 03,691 women.
Renu Talukdar of Bogibari in Dimoria said, “I, along with nine other women, had formed an SHG — Dhanseri — in 2009, thanks to the Assam Gramin Vikash Bank’s Sonapur branch, which had disbursed Rs 30,000 as loan for duck farming. Now, we are self-dependent.”