OBC plans 113 new branches in smaller cities

The public sector Oriental Bank of Commerce plans to open 113 branches across tier II and tier III cities in the current fiscal and scale up its total business size to Rs2,00,000-crore by 2009-10 end.

As a step in this direction, the Chandigarh-based bank is also considering recruiting more than 1,800 staff in this financial year to meet its manpower requirements for its proposed branch network and business expansion.

"We have requested the RBI to issue licences to open 113 branches this year, especially in tier II and tier III cities with a view to augment our total business in the current fiscal," OBC chairman and managing director Alok K Misra said in Ludhiana on Friday.

"The opening of new branches in small and rural areas will help us to raise low cost funds from opening of saving accounts that will further help us in reducing our cost of funds," he added.

The total network of bank would increase to over 1,500 branches from the 1,403 at present. "With the expansion of branch network, we are expecting to touch total business size of Rs2,00,000 crore, of which Rs1,10,000 crore will be in deposits," he said.

However, the bank has lowered its business growth projections in the current fiscal. "We are expecting growth of 21 per cent in deposits and 20 per cent in advances this year while considering that the fact the economy is in revival mode," he said during the inauguration of a new branch.