THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The setting up of the Kerala Bank by merging 14 district cooperative banks with the Kerala State Cooperative Bank (KSCB) is all set to become a reality, a minister said here on Thursday.
State Minister for Cooperatives Kadakampally Surendran told reporters that all the required permissions from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), NABARD and other regulatory bodies are falling in place.
"We were hoping that this would become a reality last month, but it did not take place; we are confident that it won't be long before it becomes a reality," Surendran said.
The cooperative banks in the state have a three-tier structure with the primary banks at the grassroot level which are attached to the respective district banks and the apex body is the KSCB.
The 14 district cooperative banks have 804 branches with a combined deposit base of Rs 60,000 crore, while the KSCB has a deposit base of Rs 8,000 crore and, once merged, the total funds at the disposal of the new bank would be next only to State Bank of India in the state.
"Once the Kerala Bank becomes functional, there will be only two tiers as the district banks will no longer exist. Last month, the KSCB got membership into RTGS, NEFT, NDS, INFINET and this could imply that the final sanction is soon coming," Surendran said.