The Bank has a very humble but a very inspiring beginning. On 14th September 1918, "The Saraswat Co-operative Banking Society" was founded. Mr. J.K. Parulkar became its first Chairman, Mr. N.B. Thakur, the first Vice-Chairman, Mr. P.N. Warde, the first Secretary and Mr. Shivram Gopal Rajadhyaksha, the first Treasurer. These were people with deep and abiding ideals, faith, vision, optimism and entrepreneurial skills. These dedicated men in charge of the Society had a commendable sense of service and duty imbibed in them. Even today, our honorable founders inspire a sense of awe and respect in the Bank and amongst the shareholders.
The Society was initially set up to help families in distress. Its objective was to provide temporary accommodation to its members in eventualities such as weddings of dependent members of the family, repayment of debt and expenses of medical treatment etc. The Society was converted into a full-fledged Urban Co-operative Bank in the year 1933.
The Bank has the unique distinction of being a witness to history. The Bank, which was originally founded in 1918, i.e. close on the heels of the Russian Revolution, also witnessed as a Society and as Bank - the First World War, the Second World War, India's freedom Movement and the glorious chapter of post-independence India. During this cataclysmic cavalcade of history, the Bank as a financial institution and its members could not of course remain unaffected by the economic consequences of the major events. The two wars in particular brought in their wake, paucities of all kinds and realities and stand by its members in distress as a solid bulwark of strength. The Founder Members and the later-day managements of the Bank continued to demonstrate their unwavering faith in the destiny of the common man and the co-operative movement and they encouraged the shareholders to save despite all odds.
Thanks to these sustained and assiduous efforts over 25 years after its inception, the Bank had gained a strong foundation in terms of its membership, resources, assets and profits. By 1942, the Bank was fulfilling all the banking needs of its customers.
During the late fifties, the Bank grew from strength to strength. The Bank had established five branches within the city of Mumbai and one each at Pune and Belgaum. In its 50th year, the Bank chose a bee motif to symbolise the Bank's emblem - a fitting and appropriate characteristic of a Bank that believed in hard work, a search for all that is good, a team spirit to achieve its objectives and selfless service to its members and customers. The Bank had grown in stature, progressed in its social and economic objectives and produced an image of what an ideal bank should be. Resultantly, in the year 1977-78, the Bank's gross income crossed the Rs.3.00 crore mark for the first time.
In 1988, the Bank was conferred with "Scheduled" status by Reserve Bank of India. The Bank is the first co-operative bank to provide Merchant Banking services. The Bank got a permanent license to deal in foreign exchange in 1978. Presently the Bank is having correspondent relationship in 45 countries covering 9 currencies with over 125 banks. In 1992, the Bank completed 75 years. Platinum Jubilee Celebrations were inaugurated on 14th September, 1992 and the Bank also crossed the business level of Rs. 700 Crores.
The beginning of the 21st century has been a giant leap forward for the Bank. The Bank chose a path of organic/inorganic growth and our pace of growth accelerated .The Bank's total business which was around Rs.4000 Crore in 2000 almost tripled to Rs.15295 Crore in 2007.
In the year 2008, the Bank launched a Branding Initiative . The purpose of such an exercise was to reconfirm the thrust of the Bank on its core values, which can be summed up as a "Sense of Belonging". The name of the Bank should always inspire a Sense of Belonging in all its stakeholders and the Bank continues to fulfill the changing needs and expectations of the customer with unflinching gusto and aplomb.
"To emerge as one of the premier and most preferred banks in the country by adopting the highest standards of professionalism and excellence in all the areas of working"
In the last two decades the Bank has witnessed a steady growth in business and also taken several Strategic Business Initiatives such as undertaking Business Process Reengineering initiative, merging seven Cooperative Banks and then consciously nurturing them. The Bank tied up with VISA International for issuance of Debit Cards.
In 2011, the Bank was granted permission for All India Area of Operation by Reserve Bank Of India.The Bank has an ambitious business expansion plan in place to have a presence in all major cities of the country, reach a business level of Rs.50000 Crores by 2016 and Rs.100000 crores by 2018.
The Bank has a network of 229 fully computerized branches as on 31st March, 2013 covering six states viz. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and Delhi. The Bank is providing 24-hour service through ATMs at 159 locations. As on 31st March, 2013 the Bank's business had surpassed Rs. 36000 Crores.The Bank has retained its coveted position as ZERO NET NPA Bank for the ninth successive year.
It is a matter of immense pride for the Bank that its new Corporate Office at Prabhadevi,Mumbai has become operational. The office establishes our strong presence in the financial capital of the country. The massive edifice in crystal glass in the heart of Mumbai gently reminds everyone of the Numero-Uno position which the Bank holds in the Cooperative Sector. The usage of state of art technology coupled with personal ambience to make everybody comfortable once again reiterates the Bank's adherence to "Think Global, Act Local". The address of our new Corporate Office is as under:
The Saraswat Cooperative Bank Ltd,
Saraswat Bank Bhawan
Plot no 953, Appasaheb Marathe Marg
Prabhadevi, Mumbai -400 025