Co-operative Banks in India
Initially, the co-operative banks were set up to supply rural credit, particularly money lenders, today they serve various needs like of agriculture and other allied activities, rural-based industries and to a lesser extent, trade and industry in urban centers.
Co-operative banks have more than one head like the RBI, the Registrar of Co-operative Societies (RCS) and NABARD.
Co-operative banks have a three tier structure — primary (agriculture or urban) credit societies, district central co-operative banks and at the apex level, state co-operative banks.
Urban Co-operative Banks
- Primary (urban) co-operative banks are registered and governed by state governments under the respective co-operative societies acts of the concerned states.
- Primary (urban) credit societies have to meet certain criteria in order to get license from RBI.
- The area of operation of primary (urban) co-operative banks is confined to metropolitan, urban or semi-urban centres and caters to the needs of small borrowers including retail traders, small entrepreneurs, professionals and the salaried class.
District Central Co-operative Banks and State Co-operative Banks
- Co-operative banks which work at the district level are district central co-operative banks.
- While Co-operative banks which work at the state level are state co-operative banks.
Anyonya Co-operative Bank Limited (ACBL) organized in 1889 located in the city of Vadodara (formerly Baroda) in Gujarat, is the first co-operative bank in India.