Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) in the country

  To realise Prime Minister Shri 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. Pursuant to detailed discussions held by Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Shri Amit Shah, with Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and Governor, Reserve Bank of India, the RBI has notified these vital measures to strengthen Urban Co-operative Banks.

1. 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.

2.      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 process for technical write-off as well as settlement with borrowers. This has brought cooperative banks at par with other commercial banks now.

3.      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. Deadline of March 31, 2023 to achieve PSL target of 60% has now also been extended to March 31,2024.The excess deposits, if any, after clearing the shortfall of PSL during FY 2022-23 will also be refunded to UCB.

Since UCB work in urban areas unlike commercial banks who have branches in rural areas as well, they were facing hardships on this score.

4.      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.

The above initiatives will further strengthen the Urban Co-operative Banks. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Ministry of Cooperation is committed to strengthen cooperatives and treat them at par with other forms of economic entities, both as beneficiaries and participants.