Every RRB has the status of a scheduled commercial bank and has been empowered to mobilize deposits and to grant short term loans, and operates within its specified area of operation.
The number of RRBs which stood only at six during 1975 has over the years increased to 196 operating in 427 districts through a network of 14,475 branches. As at the end of March 2002, RRBs accounted for 45% of rural branches of all scheduled commercial banks.
It may be observed that the deposits of all RRBs increased by 16.7 per cent during 2001- 2002 as compared to 23.2 per cent in 2000-01. One important welcome factor pertaining to RRBs operations relates to their advances to agriculture sector. This sector accounted for 46 per cent at Rs. 7217 crore of their total advances in 2001.
Growth of RRBs
The RRBs have experienced significant changes in their functioning since the introduction of the banking sector reforms.
Loans & Advances Outstanding Number of RRBs Incurring Loss Amount of Profit Incurred Number of RRBs Incurring Loss Amount of Loss Incurred Accumulated Loss
The Branch network as on 31st March 1998 comprises 6 metropolitan branches, 315 urban branches, 1806 Semi-urban branches and 12348 rural branches, together totaling a network of 14475 branches.
The RRBs’ rural branches consisted 37.5% of the total rural network of all scheduled commercial banks. The total number of branches is marginally declining over the recent past due to merger of loss making branches.