Calcutta, July 13: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued six licenses to ICICI Bank for opening branches in the eastern region.
This is part of the bank’s drive to open 65 more branches in different parts of the country in the current fiscal. Most of these will come up in the metropolitan cities.
Anand Kumar, deputy general manager and zonal head (retail marketing), said, “We have received in-principle approval from the RBI to open six more branches in the eastern region.”
Eastern region comprises West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and the north-east.
The new branches will be opened in Calcutta, Durgapur, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Dhanbad and Siliguri.
Kumar said retail lending in the eastern region has shown a quantum jump. The growth has been witnessed in all the sectors — housing, credit cards and automobile.
Buoyed by the growth the bank is planning to apply for another five to six licenses for opening new branches in this part of the country.
“It will be a mix of urban and semi-urban branches,” said Kumar. The bank is chalking out plans to launch mobile ATMs in Calcutta, he added.
A senior RBI official said, “The bank has applied for new branch licenses. We are considering their proposal.”
At present ICICI, the largest private sector bank in the country, has a network of 450 branches and extension counters. Out of these 450 branches 26 are located in the eastern region.
This fiscal, the bank is focussed on developing its branch network and not so much the ATM network.
With a focus on expanding the ATM network during fiscal 2002-03 the bank has increased its ATM network to 1,675 from 1000. In the eastern region there are about 100 ATMs, out of which 55 are in Calcutta.