Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Indian Overseas Bank has been a pioneer in starting customer-friendly products, says G.Chandran, general manager of the bank in Ernakulam.

Speaking at the IOB founder’s day celebrations here on Saturday, he said its personal loan scheme was offered to the public much before other banks started similar loan schemes.

The bank started operations in the State in 1940 with a branch in Kannur. The total business of the bank in Kerala, having a network of 134 branches, is Rs.5,435 crore. The Ernakulam region has 54 branches with a total business of Rs.2,458 crore.

M.Chidambaram Chettiar, founder of the bank, launched the bank on February 10, 1937. Two branches in India and another in Rangoon, Burma, were opened initially.

The IOB was the first Indian bank to establish operations overseas with prime focus on Indians. The bank was among the first to provide foreign exchange services.

The growth of the IOB was phenomenal, he said. From 195 branches at the time of nationalisation, with an aggregate business mix of Rs.113 crore, it had grown to 1,855 branches with a total business mix of Rs.1,45,383 crore. The bank has six overseas branches and thee representative offices abroad. The bank’s profit last year was Rs.1202 crore.

The celebrations were inaugurated by Collector M.Beena. S.Radhakrishnan, Deputy General Manager, Ajay Kumar, Chief Manager, Regional office, Ernakulam, and others spoke.