The new SFB has been incorporated as ‘Unity Small Finance Bank’ — the first new bank licence in six years.
The RBI had earlier this year issued an in-principle approval to the consortium on the condition that they acquire the business of Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank and aid its resolution. In the first phase, the lending business of Centrum (small business lending and microfinance) would get subsumed into the bank. It will also acquire some assets from BharatPe.
Meanwhile, BharatPe on Tuesday announced that it has appointed former SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar as its chair man.
Speaking to TOI, Centrum Group executive chair man Jaspal Bindra said that as the proposed bank would be digital, it would not be requiring physical infrastructure in the form of branches.
“We will become operational in a matter of weeks. We will start by offering digital banking products using our technology platform. As a bank, customers will have access to ATM network and other payment systems,” said Bindra.
The merger of PMC Bank would take a few months more. Last month, the central bank sought depositor consent for seeking relief of up to Rs 5 lakh under deposit insurance. Depositors have until October 15 to submit their claims. The merger of PMC Bank’s business will happen only after the retail claims are settled by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India.
“The proposed business model is one of collaboration and open architecture, uniting all its stakeholders to deliver a seamless digital experience. Centrum’s successful MSME and micro finance businesses shall be merged into Unity Small Finance Bank,” a statement issued by the partners said.