RBI Issues License to BharatPe, Centrum For Small Finance Bank

The SFB will be guided by the directions and timelines of the RBI on the amalgamation of Punjab & Maharashtra Co-Operative Bank Limited.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued an in-principle approval to Centrum Financial Services Limited (Centrum), NBFC arm of the Centrum Group, to establish a Small Finance Bank (SFB). Resilient Innovations Private Limited (BharatPe) will be an equal partner.

The SFB will be guided by the directions and timelines of the RBI on the amalgamation of Punjab & Maharashtra Co-Operative Bank Limited.

BharatPe’s Digital Leadership

“The RBI’s in-principle approval is a validation of Centrum’s proven expertise in financial services and BharatPe’s Digital Leadership, both essential for setting up a New Age Bank. Starting off with existing capabilities of an NBFC and a Fintech, active and potential customer base, digital reach and technology, should enable the SFB to scale up quickly,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Commenting on the development, Jaspal Bindra, Executive Chairman, Centrum Group said “We are delighted that a new banking license will be issued to an NBFC after a gap of nearly 6 years and would like to thank the RBI for the opportunity and confidence shown in us. We are excited to partner with BharatPe to create this new age bank, with a strong team.”

Small Finance Bank

“We are delighted at the opportunity to build a high performing technology led Small Finance Bank serving the payment, investment and credit needs of the under-served. With Centrum as our partner, we are confident that we can create a world-class institution that provides a differentiated and superlative experience to retail customers as well as small businesses.” added Ashneer Grover, CEO and Co-Founder, BharatPe.

For the unversed, founded in 1997, Centrum has diversified fee businesses and a lending platform for institutions and individuals. Institutional services include Investment Banking, Mid-corporates & SME credit and Broking to FIIs, Pension Funds, Indian Mutual Funds, Domestic Institutions etc.

It also provides MSME credit, Wealth Management Services to HNIs and Family Offices, Affordable Housing finance in tier 2 & 3 cities, Micro Finance loans and Retail Broking. Its Asset Management business also offers funds across Private Debt and Venture Capital.

BharatPe was co-founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018. It launched India’s first UPI interoperable QR code, first ZERO MDR payment acceptance service, and first UPI payment backed merchant cash advance service. In 2020, post-Covid, BharatPe also launched India’s only ZERO MDR card acceptance terminals – BharatSwipe.

BharatPe has raised close to US$ 178 million in equity and debt, till date. The company’s list of marquee investors includes Beenext, Sequoia, SteadView Capital, Ribbit Capital, Coatue Management LLC, Insight Partners, and Amplo.

(Economy India)