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WHEN INDIANS FIRST THOUGHT FOR THEIR OWN NATIONAL BANK

Updated on June 14, 2010

HOW INDIANS ESTABLISHED THEIR FIRST NATIONAL BANK

It was way back during 1894, when Indians were struggling for independence. A group of freedom fighters came out with the idea that for achieving economic independence, Indians should have a National Bank of their own. The group consisted of some pre-independence era leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai who continued to take an active interest in the economic development of the country also.

It was like a spark when Lala Lajpat Rai echoed his sentiments in a writing that hard earned money of Indians was being used to run English Banks and companies, the profit went entirely to the British, while Indians had to contend themselves with a small interest on their capital.

The idea was cherished by many like minded Indians. To implement the idea, was like a first step towards constructive Swadeshi` movement . Within no time a bank with a name of Punjab National Bank Limited was incorporated on 19th May, 1894 under Act VI of the 1882 Indian Companies Act.

In this way the first thought that Indians should have their own national bank, came into existence. The First Indian bank started its humble functioning with Indian capital from a rented house in the famous Anarkali Bazaar at Lahore (Now in Pakistan). It opened for business just one day before Punjabi festival of Baisakhi i.e. 12th April, 1895 with 14 shareholders and 7 directors under the chairmanship of Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia.

After independence and Indian partition, the headquarters of the bank were shifted from Lahore to Delhi. Since then, it achieved significant growth.

Even after its nationalization on 19th July, 1969, Punjab National Bank continues to be a leader and maintain frontline position in the Indian Banking industry on various banking parameters. Today, it is recognized as top service brand in Indian banking business.

With the help of advanced technology, it has the largest ATM network amongst Nationalized Banks in the country and provides 100% computerized largest branch network which facilitates `Anytime Anywhere` banking facility to all customers. It includes customers of more than 2000 rural branches of India.

During the period 1939 to 2003, several banks alongwith their complete network of branches were amalgamated, took over or acquired by Punjab National Bank. Some of them include Bhagwandas Bank, Bharat Bank, Universal Bank of India, Indo Commercial Bank, Universal Bank of India, Hindustan Commercial Bank, New Bank of India and Nadungadi Bank (the oldest private sector bank, established in 1899).

Though Punjab National Bank has positioned itself in countries like Hong Kong, Dubai, London, Kazakhstan, UK, Shanghai, Singapore, Kabul and Norway, but still it is exploring more possibilities for global presence.

Having a rich freedom struggle heritage of the country and the mission of `BANKING FOR THE UNBANKED`, Punjab National Bank is now on its way to achieve the goal to become a household brand with global expertise.

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