Thodupuzha Urban Co-operative Bank has all the reasons to celebrate its glory and triumph as the first co-operative bank in Idukki District. It shows its sintilating glory in contributing the cultural growth of Thodupuzha. The initial process of the bank owes its hospitality to the forerunner and the platform of Thodupuzha Library in extending its excellent appreciation for the establishment of the bank.
Thodupuzha was a centre of attraction and recorded its history through the enthusiastic freedom fighters and the active involvement in Vaikom Sathyagraha in 1920s. The Library was one of the first main libraries initiated by Maharaja Sreemoolam Thirunnal, the then Maharaja of Travancore. Thodupuzha Municipal Library was founded in 1921 and is proud to announce that it was the 138th library in Kerala. The Library was run by the eminent and educated leaders who later initiated the formation of the co-operative bank in the same building of the Library.
Thodupuzha Co-Operative bank was registered by the Registrar of Travancore “Paraspara Sahaya Sangam’. R. Vaidyalinga Pillai in the year 1923. The bank in collabration with the library subscribed English and Malayalam publications such as The Hindu, Times of India, Madras Bulletin of Co-Operation, Indian Review, Patrathalu, Mahila Mandiram, Samadharshi, Malayala Manorama etc.
According to TCC Act some of the provinces of Malabar were under the governance of Madras Government where Hantex and other Co-Operative sangams formed. Where as in Travancore and Kochi ‘Paraspara Sahaya Sangam’ was formed and Thodupuzha Paraspara Sahaya Bank was one of the first bank registered in the beginning.
The first promoting committe of the bank were:
K P Ayyappan Pillai and Kizhakkemadam Neelakanda Iyer were chosen as the first President and Secretary respectively. One will be excited to know the limitations of the bank in the initial stages. The bank started its procedure by lending Rs. 35 to two customers. Further initiative of the bank was to change its building from the library building.
Efficiency and accuracy are the trade marks of this bank though it has a humble beginning. Committee meetings were held once in three months and the accounts were throughly checked out and the Secretary was given a salary of ¼ of the total profit. The bank representatives were regularly attended the meetings of ‘Samastha Travancore Paraspara Mahayogam’. The records states that the President who attended a meeting at Changanassery was given rs.2 as travel allowance. Education was given preference by the bank and resource persons from Trivandrum. Cherthala and Changanassery lead classes in various aspects.
Special preference in loan was given to the engineers in the field of constructions. Serious attention was paid on debted customers. The bank and the library was closed once on a particular issue but the leaders efforts were significant in opening with no delay. Since the last five year deposit of the bank has increased by five times, the membership and the capital is also increased in huge numbers and amount. The deposit is more than 20 crores and the loan is around 10 crore as per the new records.
In the beginning financial assistance was given to the bank by the Central Co-Operative Bank of Trivandrum. The bank was insured under “Bode Paraspara Sahaya Insurance Company’ then.
The bank was shifted to K A Narayana Pilla building and was given a monthly rent of Rs.7. The bank had been active in extending its service during 1940’s when there was inflation and poverty due to the II World War. It had extended generous contribution through ration shopes, consumer stores, textiles etc. during these days. The first accounts of the bank was in Kerala Service Bank and Forward Bank. The 1961 Act had given a new life to the Co-Operative Banks. Thereafter the Co-Operative Banks succeeded in every pursuits. This was transformed the Co-Operative banks to Service Co-Operative Bank and Thodupuzha Service Co-Operative Bank No.394 was formed. The life in Co-Operative zones excited the members and a new building was in the dream of the members. A three cent land was bought and two-storied building was constructed near by the Head Post Office then. Ans until 1994 November the bank had its successful functioning there.
Reserve Bank found the banks successful functioning and analysed its procedures. On the satisfactory reports of Reserve Bank, approved licence for the bank. Under the Banks regulating Act the bank was transformed into Urban Co-Operative Bank since then. The first branch of the bank was formed in Manakkadu Panchayat at Chittoor in 1992. Shortly the bank started other branches in different places. On November 2, 1994 the functioning of the Head Office was shifted to Thodupuzha town in a newly constructed building.
The excellent supports from people and unending leading efficiency of the members has brought vibrant growth in deposits. Moreover the bank aims to nurture the growth of the town culturally and the standard of the people through various schemes.
We are glad to say that we were the first with all its branches computerised in Idukki district. New branches are opened including a special morning-evening branch for the convenince of working section were opened.
We expect and ardently admire that our bank will have the dominant status among the heading banks in future.