Bombay Mercantile Bank reviving its branches in Valley


Srinagar, Dec 25: In a bid to revive its fortune in the Kashmir Valley, Bombay Mercantile Bank is mulling to offer “attractive” schemes to woo customers. 
 “Revival of Bombay Mercantile Bank in Srinagar is one of our priorities and the management is working hard for it. The bank has suffered through turbulent times but now we are planning to revive the bank’s legacy which it had maintained in the Kashmir valley earlier,” said Chairman, BMC, Lal Jan Basha while talking to Greater Kashmir over phone.    
 “The bank would also start providing foreign exchange facilities and loans at affordable rates to its clientele,” said Basha, who is also a former MP.
 Pertinently, pre-1990s the bank was the lone financial institute that used to provide Riyals to Hajjis in exchange of Indian currency.
 Interestingly, the bank offers higher interest rate at deposits than any other bank operating in the state.  “On deposit of 15-90 days, we give 6.75 per cent interest, 180 days to one year, interest rate is 7.50,” said G R Tak, Financial Advisor BMC.
 According to Tak, the bank provides 0.50 per cent interest higher than any other bank in the Valley, including JK Bank and HDFC Bank.
 Pertinently, due to unrest in the Kashmir Valley, the bank suffered heavily as most of its clientele closed accounts with the bank fearing it would flee from the state.
 “But it were the efforts by the local bank staffers who maintained the integrity of the bank and served whatever clientele was there even during tough times,” said Bashir Sidiq, bank’s counsel.
 Sidiq said that BMC also recovered bad debt from the debtors by arbitration. “We have recovered Rs 3 crore to Rs 4 crore from the borrowers and settled their cases,” he said.
 Meanwhile, Bank’s local employees here said that they have high expectations with the management. “We hope the management will come up with new plans to help build the image of bank among masses particularly in Srinagar,” the employees said.
 They said the bank had not made any promotions during past 20 years in Srinagar. “The retirement age of the employees has been slashed by two years from 60 to 58 years.”
 “The bank staffers here have strived hard to keep the bank functional amid highly abnormal conditions in the Valley, inasmuch as one staffer got killed in 1991 while closing the branch at Nallahmar Road,” said an employee.
 Pertinently, the Bombay Mercantile Cooperative Bank has been established for the minority community in the country.
 The bank has two branches in the Valley: one at M A Road and another at Nallahmar Road here.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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