CoBP merger with Kerala bank to help tap expats in West Asia

CoBP merger with Kerala bank to help tap expats in West Asia

Kochi: The Centurion Bank of Punjab Ltd (CoBP) hopes to target non-resident Indians (NRIs) through the takeover of Kerala-based Lord Krishna Bank (LKB), according to Shailendra Bhandari, managing director and chief operating officer of CoBP.

Given the large presence of Keralites abroad, especially in West Asia, the bank is planning to offer new services and schemes for the expatriates, he added.

With BankMuscat already having a stake in CoBP, the private sector bank would be able to leverage the partnership to make its presence felt among the NRIs in the region, Bhandari said.

“The merger has given us a significant presence in Kerala," he said. “We will leverage the synergies created by this merger and offer the finest banking products to the people of Kerala and create a world-class new generation private sector bank with a pan-India presence."

CoBP will continue to focus on wealth management and foreign exchange services.

While it took nearly a year for the merger to go through because the deal was in court owing to opposition from a section of LKB staff and shareholders, Bhandari said the delay had not in any way affected the bank’s plans or led to any losses.

He allayed fears that there would be branch closures, saying there was very little duplication of services in the branches of the two banks.

CoBP, which has a net worth of Rs1,400 crore, and LKB, with a net worth of Rs160 crore, would manage a total business of Rs31,000 crore, making the new entity one of the biggest new-generation private banks in India.