The co-operative movement in India traces its origin to a period as early as 1904, when the Co-operative Credit Societies Act was enacted. As far as co-operative sector is concerned, Maharashtra is the most developed state in the country. There is hardly any village in the state which remains untouched by the co-operative movement and hardly any important economic activity that is not covered under a co-operative fold. The co-operative movement in Maharashtra is nourished by a three-tier co-operative credit structure, at the helm of which is The Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank Limited (MSCB).
At the middle level are 31 District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCBs) and at the bottom level, over 21214 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) are functioning.
The MSC Bank serves as a balancing center for the surplus resources of co-operatives in the state and thereby ensures their multifaceted development and prosperity. Needless to say that MSC Bank is the biggest co-operative bank in the country. Besides, it is the only co-operative bank in India which has figured 9 times among the top 1000 banks in the world on the basis of financial soundness (Capital Adequacy) as surveyed by ‘The Banker’ published from London, periodically. The bank is listed in Schedule II of RBI Act 1934.
The twin objectives of MSCB is to promote and propagate the creation of a Co-operative Commonwealth through socio-economic transformation of the community by following co-operative principles by adopting democratic means. It means elimination of individual profit, distribution of surplus earnings according to the established law & regular practice and readiness to work for a common cause.
The business of this Bank shall be carried on and managed by elected Board of Directors. The maximum number of elected members of the Board shall not exceed twenty one. At least TWO directors on the Board of Directors of the Bank should meet the criteria of expert director mentioned in Bye-law 2(i). The Board meets as often as may be necessary, but at least once in two months and exercises overall control over the working of the Bank. From the Board of Directors, are constituted three sub-committees, viz. Loan Committee, Executive Committee and Staff Committee.
Loan Committee considers Loan proposals, requests for opening inland and foreign letters of credit, issuance of bank guarantees on behalf of co-operatives and other constituents.
Executive Committee considers issues like admission of members, allotment, transfer and redemption of shares of the Bank and other administrative and working operational matters.
Staff Committee decides matters exclusively related to staff, such as recruitment, appointments, promotions, training needs etc.
The first two committees meet alternatively once in a fortnight, while the staff committee is expected to meet quarterly. The General Body of Members meets once in a year. The day-to-day working of the Bank is supervised by the Managing Director with the help of senior colleagues.
Board of Administrators consisting of 2 members had been appointed by state Government to carry on business of the bank since 7th May 2011 till 3rd July 2015.Thereafter ,3 new members were appointed by the state Government to carry on the business of the bank from 4th July 2015 till date.
Over the years, MSCB has been fortunate in having the guidance of eminent personalities in different walks of life. To mention a few are successful businessmen like the late Mr. Lallubhai Samaldas, Mr. Vaikunthbhai Mehta, Mr. V. D. Thackersey and intellectuals like professor D. G. Karve, Dr. Dhananjayrao Gadgil and Mr. R. G. Saraiya who have helped the Bank to grow in stature and strength.
The Bank was originally registered as The Bombay Central Co- operative Bank Limited in 1911. However, it’s fore-runner The Bombay Urban Co- operative Credit Society was formed on 23-01-1906. With the passage of time, the Bank underwent a few constitutional changes before it acquired the present status, viz. The Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank Ltd. (Incorporating the Vidarbha Co-operative Bank Ltd.) on 1-5-1961 under the Registration No. 359 following the reorganization of states on the linguistic basis. It is interesting to note that as a result of constitutional changes, The Bombay Central Co-operative Bank Ltd. became known as The Bombay Provincial Co-operative Bank Ltd. in 1923, which from 1952 was recognised as The Bombay State Co-operative Bank Ltd.
Initially, the Bank laid emphasis on the establishment of live contacts with villagers, which gave impetus to the opening of branches in the state. The Bank’s credit and marketing activities were combined in its rural branches. However, in due course the Bank encouraged the formation of separate marketing societies and transferred the business to them. With the evolution of three-tier co-operative credit structure (PACS, DCCBs, MSCB), the Bank transferred its credit business to the newly established Central Financing Agencies, i.e. Districts Central Co-operative Banks. This paved the way for linking credit with marketing in the co-operative domain.