GUWAHATI Apr29: The RGVN (North East) Microfinance Limited, the only non-banking financial company in the northeast, has become the region’s first small finance bank (SFB) following Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s approval.
The micro-credit company got RBI’s SFB license on March 31, mandating it to carry out banking services in remote and “unbanked” areas of the eight northeast states, as well as in West Bengal. The company will start its banking operation as North East Small Finance Bank (NESFB) from June this year. It is mandated to open 164 branches in the nine states.
NESFB will run its banking operation with the infusion of funds from domestic and overseas investors. The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) venture capital infused Rs 40 crore, while the PI Venture LLP and RNT Associates have put in Rs 20 crore and Rs 40 crore respectively. Among the foreign investors, Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (Norway) and OikoCredit (Netherlands) have invested Rs 15 crore and Rs 7 crore respectively.
“Our four lakh present clients across the region will now be linked to NESFB. We want to open 30 branches in every quarter, starting with Guwahati, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Baihata, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Bongaigaon in the state. While our focus will be on microfinance, we will also cater banking services in unbanked areas. About 75% of our loan will be for priority sector,” NESFB managing director and CEO, Rupali Kalita, said.
Source:Times of India