Centre announces four important initiatives to strengthen Urban Co-operative Banks in country
To realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Sahakar se Samridhi, four important initiatives have been taken to strengthen 1,514 Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) in the country.
An overview of the news
After detailed discussions with Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Governor, Reserve Bank of India, RBI has notified these important measures to strengthen Urban Cooperative Banks.
In order to expand their business, Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) can now open new branches
UCBs can now open new branches up to 10% (maximum 5 branches) of the number of branches in the previous financial year without prior approval of RBI in their approved area of operation.
In order to avail this facility, UCBs have to get the policy approved by their board and comply with the Financially Sound and Well Managed (FSWM) Norms.
UCBs can also do One Time Settlement at par with Commercial Banks
RBI has notified a framework governing this aspect for all regulated entities including Urban Co-operative Banks.
Now co-operative banks through board-approved policies may provide a process for technical write-off as well as settlement with borrowers.
This has brought cooperative banks at par with other commercial banks now.
Revised timelines for PSL targets given to UCBs
The Reserve Bank of India has decided to extend the timeline for UCBs to achieve Priority Sector Lending (PSL) targets by two years i.e. up to March 31,2026.
Designating a Nodal Officer in RBI
In order to meet the long pending demand of the cooperative sector for closer coordination and focused interaction, RBI has recently notified a nodal officer as well.
What are Urban Cooperative banks (UCB)?
It refers to primary cooperative banks located in urban and semi-urban areas.
These are registered as cooperative societies under the provisions of, either the State Cooperative Societies Act of the State concerned under the provisions of the or the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002.
It is regulated by the Registrar of Cooperatives and also by the RBI.
The Reserve Bank regulates and supervises the banking functions of UCBs under the provisions of Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
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