The Prabhadevi Branch of Bandhan Bank. (Photographer: Anirudh Saligrama/BloombergQuint)

Bandhan Bank To Open 40 Branches By This Month-End, Says Chandra Shekhar Ghosh

Bandhan Bank Ltd. started expanding its branch network as the central bank lifted restrictions imposed after the lender’s promoter failed to bring down ownership within the regulatory limits.

The microlender-turned-universal bank opened five branches yesterday, Chief Executive Officer Chandra Shekhar Ghosh told BloombergQuint in an interview. It will add another 35 by Dec. 31, taking the total count to 978, he said.

Earlier, the central bank had halted Bandhan Bank expansion as it was unable to bring down the shareholding of the non-operative financial holding company to 40 percent within three years of starting operations. The Reserve Bank of India, which had said the bank would have to take its permission for expansion, allowed it to open 40 branches.

Ghosh said he now looking to reduce the promoter stake in the bank through mergers and acquisitions. The lender will approach the RBI to open more branches in the future, as and when required, Ghosh said.

The Economic Times reported that Bandhan Bank’s two senior executives— retail banking head Rahul Johri and microfinance chief Prasanta Kumar Sahu quit recently.

Ghosh said the exits had happened three months ago and many more people have since joined the bank. “Someone joined from State Bank of India Ltd., someone joined from Yes Bank Ltd.’s retail segment, one joined from wholesale banking at Deutsche Bank, and another digital banking at HDFC Ltd.”

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