ESAF Small Finance Bank gets RBI nod for NRI Operations

11th June 2018, Mumbai: ESAF Small Finance Bank has received Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) approval for NRI operations. As per operating guidelines for Small Finance Banks, it has been decided by Reserve Bank of India that Small Finance Banks who are authorized as dealer category II are permitted to open and maintain Non-Resident Rupee Accounts. The bank will be able to provide services of NRE (Rupee) Savings Bank and term deposit accounts and buying and selling of foreign currencies.

About ESAF Small Finance Bank 

The journey of ESAF began in a small house named ‘Little’ at Thrissur in 1992. Contrary to what the name sounds, ESAF Society was launched with a bigger vision of sustainable holistic transformation of the poor and the marginalized. The success of Grameen bank in Bangladesh reinforced the vision of K. Paul Thomas, Founder of ESAF Group of Social Enterprises. In 1995, he launched Micro Enterprises Development (MED) services and it resulted in the formation of ESAF Microfinance and Investments Pvt. Ltd., in 2008. The increased focus on microfinance was inevitable as the founder was clear in his understanding of the importance of financial component in holistic economic development of the poor. Gradually, ESAF Microfinance earned its place among the top ten Microfinance institutions in India.

In 2015, the Reserve Bank of India, the financial regulator in the country has granted in-principle license to ESAF to launch a Small Finance bank. ESAF Small Finance Bank was one amongst the ten NBFCs to receive an 'in principle' approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a Small Finance Bank in the private sector. In November 2016, the final license was issued by the RBI. ESAF Small Finance Bank was incorporated on May 05, 2016, with its registered office in Thrissur.

ESAF SFB has posted a profit of Rs. 27 Cr in the first full year of operations ended March 2018 and the total income earned is Rs. 699 Cr for the year. As of now, ESAF Small Finance Bank has more than 400 banking outlets, including 104 new retail banking outlets and 205 ATMs spread across 11 states and almost 100 districts in India, covering the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Pondicherry, New Delhi and Jharkhand. With a client base of 2.3 million it has crossed Rs 2500 Cr deposit base, Rs. 4100 Cr loans and advances and total business Rs. 6600 Cr within one year of operations. The micro banking assets crossed Rs. 4050 Cr and the retail banking assets stands at Rs. 50 Crore.

The bank plans to achieve Rs. 7000 Cr deposits, Rs. 8000 Cr loans and advances, Rs. 15000 Cr total business, 200 new retail banking outlets, 125 new ATMs across the country before the end of the FY ‘18-’19. ESAF Small Finance Bank also plans to cover five more states in the North East and Central India region soon.