On Thursday, Reuters quoted sources and a document as saying the bank plans to reduce the number of branches by 600, or 13% of the total, by either closing or merging loss-making branches by the end of March 2023.
In an exchange filing late Saturday, the Central Bank of India took note of the reported branch closure plan but said: “We hereby report that there is currently no decision to close a large number of branches in FY2022-23 .”
The document, seen by Reuters, says the planned closures are aimed at improving the bank’s financial performance and could end scrutiny by the Reserve Bank of India.
The central bank’s scrutiny dates back to 2017, as part of a crackdown after some state-run lenders were found to have violated rules on regulatory capital, non-performing loans and leverage ratios.
“It is routine for any bank to periodically realign/move/merge/close/open branches (a) to meet corporate goals,” the Saturday filing said.
“We assure our valued customers and everyone else involved that their interests are well protected,” she added.
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