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Saraswat Bank plans to buy 3 co-op banks

February 04, 2005 12:02 IST
Saraswat Cooperative Bank Ltd. has submitted proposals to acquire three cooperative banks -- Maratha Mandir Cooperative Bank, South Indian Cooperative Bank and Nasik People's Cooperative Bank, managing director, S K Banerji said on Thursday.

Rajkot Nagarik Sahakari Bank has also handed over a plan to acquire a Junagadh-based cooperative bank.

"Once the financial clearance from the RBI is received, we will approach the Registrar of Cooperative Societies for procedural approval," Banerji said.

Maratha Mandir and South Indian Co-operative Bank were on the verge of collapse last year, when the RBI had to intervene by imposing moratoriums on withdrawals.

Banerji said the central bank was positive on its proposals and a decision was expected soon.

Another proposal pending with the RBI is that of Rajkot Nagarik Sahakari Bank to acquire Junagadh Vibhagya Nagarik Sahakari Bank.

"The RBI inspection on certain aspects has already been done," said S.V. Motiani, chairman, Rajkot Nagarik Sahakari Bank.

"Such a merger would allow us a wider area of operation," Motiani said. According to industry sources, other takeover proposals have also been submitted to the RBI.

These proposals are lying pending with the central bank at a time when the government is keen on reforming and regulating co-operative banks. On Wednesday, RBI unveiled guidelines for mergers of urban co-operative banks.

BS Bureau in New Delhi