Banking News

In a first, Cosmos Cooperative Bank acquires a negative net-worth bank

In a first, Mumbai-based negative net worth Maratha Sahakari Bank, which was under operational restriction imposed by the Reserve Bank, merged with Cosmos Cooperative Bank Ltd. This was the first of its kind merger of a negative net worth bank after the Reserve Bank allowed voluntary mergers and amalgamation between cooperative banks in March 2021.

The branches of Maratha Sahakari Bank are operational for service as branches of The Cosmos Cooperative Bank Ltd from Monday, according to chairman Milind Kale and will be absorbing all the employees of the erstwhile Maratha Cooperative Bank. The bank has already merged with itself 16 small cooperative banks and the latest Maratha Sahkari Bank is 17 and the first bank with a negative net worth.

Cosmos opted to amalgamate a negative net worth bank as it is optimistic about recovery of the Maratha Sahakari bank’s bad loans which is estimated at over 90 percent of its loan book, he added. Cosmos reported gross non-performing assets worth Rs 639 crore as of March 2023 at 3.8 percent of its gross advances.

With this merger, Cosmos Bank now has 40 branches in Mumbai and the bank already has 159 branches in 7 states across India. The bank will be looking at acquiring more cooperative banks and scale up its branch network to 200, Mr Kale said

Cosmos reported a business of Rs 30,700 crore at the end of March 2023 and earned net profit of Rs. 151 crore.

The impact on the bank’s capital adequacy ratio post the merger is expected to be negligible according to the bank’s senior officials and its capital to risk weighted assets was 13.54 percent as of March’2023.

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