With changing currencies and the world advancing to plastic money, there established an institution called ‘banks’ and developed itself to cater to the needs and inquiries regarding the western adaptations of the currency. In order to ease out the monetary exchanges, transactions that had to happen over time and distance, preserve the cash for future use and finally become a bridge for the gap between the economic extremes, banks were instituted to play a big role. For each penny has its value, each saving is an investment, these structures, set up by the government, were an attempt to provide a helping hand to luxury to slip into our lives.
The first attempts date back to the period of Renaissance when Florentine bankers made their transactions over wooden benches, more like an exchange counter, and practiced the word ‘bank’ which literally means ‘bench, counter’. Language of Sanskrit gives it a meaning of ‘expense calculations’ through words like ‘byaya’ (expense) and ‘onka’ (calculation) together forming the word ‘byaya+onka’ which later got transformed to ‘bank’. The first bank headquartered in Siena, Italy as Monte die Paschi di Siena (1472) is still functional.
Banks operate in two ways serving different purposes and catering to two separate consumers. While commercial banks benefit individuals and small businesses by managing withdrawals and deposits and short-term loans, the investment banks, on the other hand, provide services to institutional clients. Supervised under the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are the government banks controlled entirely by the government as opposed to a privately-owned body. Detailed below are ten of such banks that are presently handling maximum number of transactions and are the most preferred government banks of India.
10. Bank of Maharashtra
The bank, owing its services to over 12 million customers across the country, was founded in 1935 by a group of visionaries including the Late V. G. Kale and Late D. K. Sathe and is currently headed by Shri Narendra Singh, Chairman, Bank of Maharasthra. Registered with a capital of 10 lakh back then, it, today, generates a revenue of 6,093.94 crore (US$ 1.11 billion) and is one of the foremost banks in Maharasthra. With its branches spreading all across the nation, almost 1564 of them, it serves the citizens by providing them with loans, credit cards, savings, investment vehicles, etc.
The Bank, known for its early help to water the seeds of many leading industrial houses, today, foresees itself to be globally present catering to diverse sections of society and believes to enhance stakeholder and employee value all along its journey.
9. Corporation Bank
Generosity attached to the core of its values, The Bank directs its missions towards becoming the most preferred bank inducing global standards and aims to meet customer expectations via innovative and technological initiatives. It does take into account stakeholder values, national and social obligations, ethical values and provision of a healthy and satisfactory work environment.
The institution, 107 year old, has its presence today all over the Indian mainland with 6164 functioning service outlets at the moment and is headquartered in Mangalore, India. The bank that today makes a mark of Rs. 2,36,611 crore in the business world was initially started off with mere Rs. 50,000 by a leading philanthropist Khan Bahadur Haji Abdullah Haji Kasim Saheb Bahadur and his companions who collectively identified a need of setting up such a corporation at Udupi, important trade centre next to Mangalore. The great ideology behind its start was to go against the then popular zamindari system, situations alike, that prevailed in India and rested the rights and freedom of the common man constricted to the hands of few rich individuals. Current Chairman, MD, Ajai Kumar builds on to carry forward the same.
8. Union Bank of India
Registered in November 1919 in Mumbai, Inida and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi (1921), Union Bank of India started its voyage with a dedicated team of staff that contributed to what it stands today as an achievement in itself with a strong clientele base of over 24 million, total business of Rs. 3,42,856 crore and 2800 branches across the nation – all of which are 100% computerized. With the market equipping itself with technology overnight, the bank excels in its online Telebanking facility made available to all its customers.
Today, with D. Sarkar as its Chairman and MD, the financial services being run by United Bank of India are successfully established in both the national and the international market and is proving to completely abide by its stated vision of maintaining beneficial and lasting relationships with the customers through continuous up-gradation.
7. Canara Bank
A bank that believes to give back what it owes to the society; the responsibility that few corporates still deny is a duty for this institution. A visionary, back in 1906, converted his ideas into reality. Shri Ammembal Subba Rao Pai founded the bank as the Canara Bank Hindu Permanent Fund in the city of Mangalore that, soon after its nationalization, rested in the hearts of its customers and clients. A network of 3650 branches has succeeded to build a corporate as well as a social image through innovations like launching of Inter-City ATM Network, Exclusive Subsidiary for IT Consultancy, Commissioning of Exclusive Mahila Banking Branch and many other such concepts brought down in the industry by the bank. Its social interface makes it a true hero for the community through its CSR initiatives, namely, serving national priorities, promoting rural development, enhancing rural self employment through training institutes and spearheading financial inclusion objective.
The bank owns assets of Rs. 3.749 trillion remarkably generating revenue of Rs. 339.2 billion and acquiring a premier position in the comity of Indian banks through continuous hard work of its employees who followed its laid principles throughout adding up to its values.
6. Bank of India
India’s first to open a branch abroad at London in 1946 and then in Europe, Paris in 1974, Bank of India emerged as a highly reputed and recognized industry soon after it was nationalized in July, 1969. It took off from 50 employees and the family now expands to more than 2 lakh shareholders under its umbrella. Making a clean blend of morals, traditional values, ethics and modern provisions, it offers a wide variety of products that include commercial banking, retail banking, private banking, asset management, mortgages and credit cards generating revenue of Rs. 24,393.50 crore through 4157 branches present nationally and 29 service outlets abroad.
Well known for providing superior and proactive banking services to niche markets globally, the bank is honored for being the first among the nationalized banks to set up a fully computerized branch and ATM facility back in 1989. The institution takes pride in being the Founder Member of SWIFT in India and is pioneer of the Health Code System (1982) for evaluating/rating its credit portfolio.
5. Syndicate Bank
Since its inception, Syndicate bank has worked in the purview of doing something for others, for the society. TM A Pai, Upendra Pai and Vaman Kudva, the three visionaries together started the great mission to break down the misery of local weavers by providing them with financial assistance. In those days, the three with few other agents went door-to-door collecting two annas and deposited the money, system of which still prevails in the country under the term called Pigmy Deposit Scheme. The scheme, today, helps the bank deposit a sum of around Rs. 2 crore and assist the second and the third generation of its long lasting solid customer base.
Syndicate Bank has its roots in Udipi, Karnataka, dating back to 1925, when it was set up with a noble thought and a base amount of Rs. 8,000. It progressed to the date with more than 25,000 employees joining hands to work together, as a result of which, the bank achieved to be the pioneer of Centralized Banking Solutions under which 500 branches and ATMs are being networked nationwide.
4. IDBI Bank
Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI), as the name suggests, is a facilitator for the development of emerging Indian industries and puts the required provisions of credit at ease. The bank developed over time with a motto of being the most preferred and trusted bank focusing on enhancing the value for all its stakeholders. Founded in July 1964 under an Act of Parliament, it was a wholly owned subsidiary of RBI. But later, in 1976, the ownership was transferred to the Govt. of India. The bank flourished giving personalized banking and financial solutions to clients, both retail and corporate and has an established network of 1000 branches and 1,50,000 employees.
Current Chairman and MD, Shri R. M. Malla confidently accepts the challenges of the emerging market with a promise of effectively contributing to the country’s growth process. Previous financial year records its total business as Rs. 3,91,651 crore and an increase in earned profits by 23.15% which maps its success over the years gone and many more to come. It even lands it up as the 10th largest development bank in the world in terms of its reach.
3. Bank of Baroda
Born in the hands of Maharajas of the princely states more than 100 of years ago and taken forward by the business minds of the country, famous as Gujratis for they belong to the state of Gujrat, Bank of Baroda grew as a give and take entity – serving its customers, helping them grow and growing itself in turn. Mastering the skill of lending, transmission and depositing of money, as foreseen by the founder Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad, it contributed to the development of industries, arts and commerce and is recognized, today, as a strong, trustworthy financial body.
Growth been drawn as a parallel to its development and success, Bank of Baroda is the highest amongst all the public service undertaking in terms of generating profits, first largest public sector lender in terms of annual profits and second largest in terms of number of total business in the country. Recently appointed Chairman and MD, S S Mundra takes over the total global business of Rs. 7,003.30 billion and a network of 4007 branches making a promise to its corporate and retail customers to continue offering specialized subsidiaries and affiliate in the areas of investment banking, credit cards and asset management, rising up enough to meet the expectations.
2. Punjab National Bank
Originated as an idea in the brains of the revolutionaries of those times when India was still under the British rule and struggling to find its course out of the slavery. As a step towards the upcoming Swadeshi Movement, the bank was primarily a concept of India having its own financing system rather than contributing to the English banks and companies and itself receiving mere interest. It was first mooted by Rai Mool Raj whose efforts were supplemented by Lala Lajpat Rai and Lala Harkishan Lal to set up an Indian Joint Stock Bank. Transformation of the idea into a real set up was witnessed in May, 1894 and the mission of providing the country with a national bank of its own and further the economic interests had begun.
Punjab National Bank has sixty thousand employees working towards one goal of becoming a leading global bank with Indian footprints and a household brand for the common local population providing entire range of financial products and services under one roof, a team reaching out to 37 million customers through 5000 branches across 764 cities. As the second largest state-owned commercial bank in India that generates revenue worth Rs. 416.86 billion, it proves, today, to be the absolute bank for the unbanked.
1. State Bank of India
Joint potential of three commercial banks – Bank of Bengal, Bank of Madras and Bank of Bombay, later merged into the Imperial Bank of India gave birth to the bank it is today – largest banking and financial services company in India, the State Bank of India. Brick by brick, it expanded to explode the market, captured maximum potential customers and welded long lasting relationships with the clients resulting in its huge business and owning of assets worth US$ 360 billion.
State Bank of India is marked by its presence – 14,119 branches out of which 157 are friend offices in 32 countries across the globe, known for its services – credit cards, consumer banking, corporate banking, finance and insurance, investment banking, wealth management and special provisions for the non-resident Indians through 14 regional hubs and 57 Zonal Offices, headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra and currently recruited team of 292,215 employees.
Today, it secures the first position in the list of top ten government owned banks in India (2013) for the sole reason of not just contributing to the heartbeat of the country – the economic growth but also properly pumping the nerves of the nation – the public. SBI, apart from its financing services, wins its customers through large number of welfare activities and leaves a mark in lives of many.