Mumbai: The Reserve Bank has approved the appointment of former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai as the chairman of Unity Small Finance Bank, which began operations last November with its first branch in the city.
Rai, after his retirement as the CAG, headed the Banks Board Bureau, the body that advises the government on top-level appointments at public sector lenders and ways to address bad loans, as its chairman, Unity Small Finance Bank said in a statement.
Unity has many banking stalwarts, including ex-RBI official Sandip Ghose; Basant Seth, ex-CMD of Syndicate Bank and deputy MD of Sidbi; and Subhash Kutte, who was a former chairman of RBL Bank, as board members. The Centrum Group’s Inderjit Camotra is the interim chief executive of the bank.
According to the license agreement, Unity Small Finance Bank, which is a joint venture between Centrum group and BharatPe, will have to take over the crippled cooperative bank PMC Bank as and when the finance ministry clears the merger scheme. Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank was hit by a Rs 7,000 crore loan scam and has been under the RBI administrator since September 2019.
Unity is the 12th small finance bank and it opened its first branch in Mumbai on November 1, 2021, with over Rs 1,100 crore of equity capital, over 2 lakh customers, and an asset base of over Rs 2,400 crore which comes from the existing MSME and MFI credit business of the Centrum Group, Jaspal Bindra, group executive chairman and also the non-executive chairman of Unity SFB, had said.
Unity began operations in a record time as it got the final license only on October 12, 2021, from the Reserve Bank, after getting in-principal approval in June. Unity Small Finance Bank is 51 percent owned by Centrum Capital, the listed entity of the Centrum Group, and 49 percent by Resilient Innovations, the arm BharatPe set up for its banking foray.