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Co-operative Banking Overview

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This role is, perhaps, the most unheralded aspect of our activities, yet it remains among the most critical. This includes ensuring credit availability to the productive sectors of the economy, establishing institutions designed to build the country's financial infrastructure, expanding access to affordable financial services and promoting financial education and literacy.

The rural co-operative credit system in India is primarily mandated to ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector. It comprises short-term and long-term co-operative credit structures. The short-term co-operative credit structure operates with a three-tier system - Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) at the village level, Central Cooperative Banks (CCBs) at the district level and State Cooperative Banks (StCBs) at the State level. PACS are outside the purview of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and hence not regulated by the Reserve Bank of India. StCBs/DCCBs are registered under the provisions of State Cooperative Societies Act of the State concerned and are regulated by the Reserve Bank. Powers have been delegated to National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) under Sec 35 (6) of the Banking Regulation Act (As Applicable to Cooperative Societies) to conduct inspection of State and Central Cooperative Banks.

Primary Cooperative Banks (PCBs), also referred to as Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs), cater to the financial needs of customers in urban and semi-urban areas. UCBs are primarily registered as cooperative societies under the provisions of either the State Cooperative Societies Act of the State concerned or the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002 if the area of operation of the bank extends beyond the boundaries of one state. The sector is heterogeneous in character with uneven geographic spread of the banks. While many of them are unit banks without any branch network, some of them are large in size and operate in more than one state.

RBI Co-operative Banking Overview Simple Content

The Reserve Bank acts in close co-ordination with other regulators, such as, Registrar of Co-operative Societies and Central Registrar of Co-operative Societies. The Reserve Bank enters into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Central Government and all State Governments which have presence of UCBs to ensure greater convergence of policies on regulation and supervision. Starting with signing first MoU with the State of Andhra Pradesh on June 27, 2005 and the last with the State of Telangana on December 30, 2014, today, all the UCBs in the country are covered under MoU

Commercial Banking Key Topics

Key Topics

RBI Co-operative Banking Overview Accordion

  • Though the Banking Regulation Act came in to force in 1949, the banking laws were made applicable to cooperative societies only in 1966 through an amendment to the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Since then there is duality of control over these banks with banking related functions being regulated by the Reserve Bank and management related functions regulated by respective State Governments/Central Government.
  • The Reserve Bank regulates the banking functions of StCBs/DCCBs/UCBs under the provisions of Sections 22 and 23 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (As Applicable to Cooperative Societies (AACS).
  • As part of the arrangements under MoU, the Reserve Bank constitutes a State-level Task Force for Co-operative Urban Banks (TAFCUB) for UCBs which operate only in one State. A Central TAFCUB is constituted for the Multi-State UCBs. TAFCUBs bring all the decision-makers with regard to UCBs on one table, thus facilitating quick decision-making. TAFCUBs identify potentially viable and non-viable UCBs in the states and suggest revival path for the viable and non-disruptive exit route for the non-viable ones. The exit of non-viable banks could be through merger/amalgamation with stronger banks, conversion into societies or liquidation as the last option.
  • The State Governments/Central Governments may, for instance, through the MoU, agree to take immediate action on requisitions of the Reserve Bank for supersession of the Board of Directors, appointment of liquidators, initiating action for removal of CEO/Chairman of a bank, enhancing quality of HR and IT resources in the banks on the lines required by the Reserve Bank, work to raise the standards of corporate governance by putting in place certain minimum fit and proper criteria for members to be eligible for seeking election for the post of director, institute special audit by Chartered Accountants and furnish reports of the findings within a given time frame, introduce long form audit reports for conducting statutory audit, modify its audit rating models to bring it on par with the rating system of the Reserve Bank and conduct statutory audit only through external Chartered Accountants in respect of banks with deposits over a specified minimum level.
  • The Department of Co-operative Bank Regulation (DCBR) regulates State Co- operative Banks (StCBs), District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCBs) and Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs).

Legal Framework Of Co-operative Banking


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Page Last Updated on: January 02, 2023

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