Helps You Grow Beyond


India's Fast Growing Urban Co-operative Bank


Bassein Catholic Co-operative Bank

Helps you to grow beyond

Having built a strong customer base and brand equity in its traditional geographies, BCCB is set to move into other regions. Its fundamental strength, significantly high level of efficiency by most of the operational metrics and principle as a committed urban bank with customer needs very much in mind, makes it a preferred banking destination, especially for middle and lower middle class people in its traditional region.

 

Many milestones and laurels over the years have embellished the Century-nearing Bassein Catholic Co-operative Bank (BCCB) as a bank with a significant difference. For several thousand people in Mumbai’s remote western suburbs, especially in localities like Vasai and some parts of Thane district, Maharashtra BCCB is a name of big hope and optimism. Most of its business now emerges from its traditional geographies, whereat it could make drastic changes in the life of its customers – and in the regional the socio-economy conditions. The region also has thrived, over the years, on huge influx of migrants and resultant local developments that led to a significant growth in consumer demands, and of course opportunities for the bank.

In its traditional region, it enjoys high level of customers’ trust, keeping its position much stronger and invulnerable to competition, points out Mr Christopher J. Rodrigues, Vice Chairman of the bank. “We are keen to support small business firms and entrepreneurs in the regions like western suburbs of Mumbai, Vasai and Palghar and become a leading trade financier. We also will help young entrepreneurs build their dreams and train them to achieve their goals” he says. Such measures will strengthen the customer base of the bank. On the other side, he says, the bank also would train its talents to deal closely with them and understand their business so that the bank can design suitable products and services for them. Already the bank’s niche base also gives it an edge over other banks in the areas where it has built its presence.

It is not the set of laurels that makes the bank’s position outstanding in the co-operative banking sector or its excellent customer relationship, but the real consistency in its performance, its quality services to masses who depend on it and above all its admirable operational efficiency. With an equal efficiency, it could harness the strength of technology and build a platform that would satisfy its new generation customers, on par with any of the tech-savvy urban cooperative banks in the country. “We are committed for bringing to our customers the best of banking services, products and a tradition of excellence,’ Mr Michael P. Furtado, Chairman asserts in the Annual Report 2014-15 of the bank. “We understand, manpower training and planning are important areas. Accordingly we give considerable focus on these areas,” Mr Rodrigues points out.

It is one of the urban co-operative banks in the country that has always used technology prowess not only to improve delivery efficiency and bringing in better comforts for customers but also to enhance the capability to handle higher volumes of business without corresponding increase in manpower, time-to-time. The management of the bank being highly professional is always aware of the need of maintaining the efficiency level and technology edge as it is engaged in the highly competitive banking sector, where the credit risk is inherent. It believes in constantly improving the technological skills and rolling out innovative technology driven products. Today, the bank is in a position to offer sophisticated services, which include RuPay Card based services, SMS Banking, Net Banking, Forex, Mobile Banking and innovative e-lobby services offering an integrated self-service banking comforts, which include cheque deposit and pass book printing. Now more than 65 per cent of its customer avail SMS Banking facility. The number is still increasing. With more products on the roll through arrangements with other institutions, the customers would be in a position to get newer products and services, says Mr Rodrigues.

The Mobile Banking product named BCCB Mobile Banking comes with a host of facilities like cheque book request, Debit Card Hot-Marking, Mini Statement, mobile and DTH recharges, fund transfer to accounts within and outside the bank, etc. BCCB also has a path-breaking net banking service. Named BCCB Net Banking, it comes with a host of impressive services like anytime-anywhere access to account, facility to create standing instructions between accounts, fund transfer facility to any account through NEFT, facility to download account statement in required format, status of clearing transactions, history of payee details, loan profile with repayment schedule, facility to order for cheque book, convenience to stop-cheque payment and block ATM card with immediate effect, facility to buy term deposit products, etc. Soon the bank will add utility bill payment and e-commerce facilities also to its customers through this platform.    

Its half a million customers across 50 branches are happy for having an array of services that would be help them meet every service that a bank is expected to deliver. The management focus on delivering services in most competent ways at highly competitive rates makes customers happier, says Mrs Brijdina Coutinho, Principal General Manager of the bank. Driven by technology and based on the demands from customers, the period ahead will see more value added services from the bank.

Apart from the services like any-branch-banking, net-banking, e-lobby, round-the-clock services, SMS banking, mobile banking, card based services, electronic clearing facilities, stamp franking, offering government schemes, investment products including mutual funds, insurance, Forex serves etc, an array of loan products for meeting personal and business requirements make it one-stop-financial service shop for an average retail customer. The bank also has licence for operating foreign exchange.

BCCB’s focus on human resources like any modern financial institution makes it a different urban co-operative bank in the country. “We always believe in enhancing the HR quality within the bank so that our talent base is capable of handling newer business where we have opportunities to grow,” says Mrs Brijdina Coutinho. The bank has appointed competent Peopleplus to ensure better human resources management and make itself more efficient in all HR parameters. “The bank always believes trained employees are the key to effective delivery,” Mr Michael P. Furtado, rightly mentions in the Annual Report. Through a host of initiatives, which include in-house and external training, e-learning, focus on developing standard operating system etc., the bank has been trying to empower its employees. Last year, 432 of its 469 employees were trained on such various subjects as credit management, marketing, soft-skills, clean note policy, Know-Your-Customers (KYC), etc through extensive training programmes. In the co-operative banking sector, BCCB has the most productive manpower base, as its per-employee business and profits indicate – double the average size of other large urban co-operative banks in the country.Notably, a large portion of the bank’s employees are women professionals.

BCCB is way ahead of its pears, including the bigger players, in most of the operational metrics as a modern urban co-operative bank – be it in terms of return on assets (RoA), its asset quality, capital adequacy (CRAR), manpower productivity, per-employee business and profitability and, without saying, per-branch business and profit. BCCB is one of the couple of banks with virtually zero non-performing asset (NPA) at net level. With business per employee to the tune of Rs 16.11 crore, higher than many of the large commercial banks, profit per employee to the tune of Rs 15 lakh and return 1.31 per cent on its assets that is more efficient than the most efficient private banks BCCB ranks the first position among co-operative banks in these operational metrics. The management efficiency and technology adoption for handling rising volume of business owe greatly to this distinction.”As we are moving closer to our Centenary year by 2018 we will set new milestones and achieve it,” says Mr Rodrigues, who has a vision to make the bank No 1 urban co-operative bank in the country.  

Compared with any of the banks, BCCB’s capital adequacy gives it a hope of fast expansion of asset base. At present, the bank’s combined business has crossed Rs 7700 crore. The last three years saw the bank growing at the rate of 15 per cent on year-on-year basis and the management is confident of showing the same trajectory of growth for the period ahead even under worse economic condition.

Yes, we are keen to expand and grow our size fast in the days ahead,” says Mrs Brijdina Coutinho. By the end of the current financial year the bank’s combined business is expected to touch Rs 10,000 crore and by the time it turns into the centenary year, it is aiming to reach a business mix of Rs 12,000 crore. Looking at the plan that the management has embarked, the target seems to be well within its reach. Now the bank is preparing for a massive change with a twin focus – the overall business growth and customer care. With more branches to come up and focus beyond its traditional region, the bank is expected to grow faster. To achieve a big target, we need to go for a massive transformation, says Mrs Brijdina. Indeed, the bank is very much on a way of transformation to ensure that its centenary year celebration has something boastful to show – as an urban co-operative banking role-model.

Besides customers’ trust and comforts what makes an urban co-operative bank a reliable institution is Its fundamental strengths. “Ours is a financially sound and well-managed bank,” points out Mrs Brijdina at the outset of her interview with ECONOSTAR and shows the comparative financial figures to convince about the bank’s strength. This makesBCCB one of the safest urban cooperative banks in the country run by a professional Board of Directors and management. In the year 2015-16, when its deposit and advances grew substantially the combined business showed a growth of over 15 per cent, despite the fact the economy has been passing through a sluggish period. Among the top 10 scheduled urban co-operative banks, BCCB has the highest component of CASA deposits in the overall deposit combination, which show the average cost of its liabilities is lower than what its peers have. This makes its lending more efficient and competitive. With 1.31 per cent return on asset (RoA) BCCB now stands atop the industry – way ahead of its peers. Net profit stood at Rs 71.73 crore, which is again highly impressive compared with the size of its business mix.  In any manner, the bank is growing faster and set to find for itself new place in the highly competitive cooperative banking sector.

Like most co-operative banks, BCCB also has its mind for social service and traces its genesis in community service, by virtue of having a social reformer Rev. Msgr. P.J Monis, a missionary as its founder. Began in 1918 as a co-operative credit society, which was converted into urban co-operative bank in 1968, BCCB has come a long way beyond its original aim of bringing financial freedom to the under-privileged ones in the region of Vasai, a remote western suburb of Mumbai. In 1990, BCCB became a scheduled bank. Today, the management has all reasons to claim that its founder’s mission helped it uplift the society, bringing for them massive change in life style, education and financial stability – besides new hope for their future.

Having built a strong customer base and brand equity in its traditional geographies, BCCB will start moving into other regions. Its fundamental strength and principle as a committed urban bank with customer needs very much in mind, can make it a preferred banking destination, especially for middle and lower middle class people. Its track record as an urban co-operative bank and the spectacular financial performance over the years have fetched it a place that it deserves. The Co-operative Banking Association and Federations accordingly have bestowed on it many awards and recognized the bank with many other accomplishments and merits.


Besides the services like any-branch-banking, net banking, e-lobby for exciting self-services, round-the-clock services, SMS banking, mobile banking, card based services, electronic clearing facilities, stamp franking, offering government schemes, investment products including mutual funds, insurance, etc, an array of loan products for meeting personal and business requirements make it one-stop-financial service shop for an average retail customer. The bank also has licence for operating foreign exchange.

 

 

·                Established as credit society on 6th February, 1918

·                Became Urban Co-op bank in 1966.

·                Achieved Scheduled status in 1990.

·                Core Banking Solution across all branches in 2010

·                Pact with SIDBI for Credit-linked Capital Subsidy

·                MoU with CRISIL and SMERA for credit rating of small business units

·                Launch of RUPAY debit card

·                RBI ranted AD-1 license granted in 2015.

·                Three branches - Papdy, Bangli and Holi branch completed 50 years of service

·                Launched net banking facility in 2016

·                More to follow in the coming days……….

 

 

Awards

 

·         The Maharashtra State Co-operative Banks Association Ltd. awarded Late Padmabhushan Vasant Dada Patil, Best Urban Co-op. Bank” in 2014-15 amongst all scheduled/ multi state co-operative banks in Maharashtra.

·         Avis Publication awarded BANCO PURASKAR 2014, First prize for its performance for the financial year 2013-2014 in the category of banks having deposits of Rs 3000-Rs 5000 crore.

·         Government of Maharashtra awarded Sahakar Bhushan Award in 2013-14.

·         Sahakar Sugandha magazine published by Sahakar Bharti awarded Pratibimba’ Award in 2013-14 for its Annual Report.

·         The Indian Banker magazine granted it 1st rank for the merit of being best in terms of Average Cost of Funds, Return on Assets (RoA), CRAR and business per-employees.

·         Banking Frontiers Year Award for Excellence in Recovery and NPA Management in large Urban Co-Operative Banks Category.