Central Bank of India, which is under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) regime since June 2017, said on Saturday it is yet to decide on the number of branches to be shut in the current financial year (FY23).
While Mumbai-based public sector lender has slashed its tally of branches by 186 between April 2017 and December 2021, there have been reports about it intending to close 600 branches in 2022-23 (FY23). The number of branches stood at 4,528 at the end of December 2021. The bank, in a statement, said there is no decision as of now to close a large number of branches during FY 2022-23.
However, it is a routine exercise for every Bank to re-align, shift, merge, close and open branches on a regular basis to achieve corporate business objectives. The interest of customers and all other stakeholders is well protected. According to analyst presentations by banks, predominantly, rationalization has been done in Metropolitan and Urban areas. The number of metropolitan branches declined from 910 in March 20217 to 811 in December 2021 and those in urban centers declined to 783 in December 2021 from 846 in March 2017. The rural and semi-urban branches, which are the main sources of liabilities, have not seen much rationalization. In June 2017, the Reserve Bank of India had placed the Central Bank of India under the PCA regime due to high net NPA and negative Return on Assets.