GUWAHATI CITY

Ratan Tata launches NE’s first small bank in city

GUWAHATI, June 17: Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata on Sunday launched the North East Small Finance Bank Limited, the first small bank to be set up in the North East.

Launching the bank during a function held at a city hotel on Sunday evening, Tata said one of the most challenging tasks that small entrepreneurs and traders face is availing loan from banks and financial institutions. He said the North East Small Finance Bank Limited will be a big step towards helping such entrepreneurs.

Tata Trusts, through his investment arm RNT Associates, has invested Rs 40 crore in the bank, which commenced operations as a small finance bank from October 17 last year. The Reserve Bank has issued a licence to the bank under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, to carry on the business of small finance bank.

Nine companies have invested in the bank, aggregating Rs 298 crore through RGVN (North East) Microfinance Ltd. The total loan portfolio was Rs 1,089 crore on March 31 this year.

The bank has been promoted by RGVN (North East) Microfinance Ltd, which is the sole micro-finance company in the region and the only non-banking finance company in the North-east to be granted in-principle approval to set up a small finance bank. Barring NEDFi, no other local company has invested in the bank.

Speaking on the occasion State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the North East Small Finance Bank Limited is a step towards making the banking sector accessible for all sections of people in the society.