RBL Bank Limited

South Asia Financial services

India’s Ratnakar Bank (RBL Bank) is one of India’s fastest growing private sector banks. It specialises in financial inclusion, agribusiness financing and lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Founded in 1943, RBL Bank was traditionally concentrated in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa. In 2010, however, a new management team was brought in to pursue a strategy to expand beyond the bank’s western India roots.

It currently services over 3.98 million customers through a network of 247 branches spread across 20 Indian states and Union Territories.

Our investment

In 2016, CDC provided a $50 million long-term loan to RBL Bank. The Tier II debt provision strengthened its capital base and supported RBL’s plans to grow its geographic footprint across India’s poorer states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. This loan was repaid in 2017 and a new equity investment of $99 million was made.

RBL Bank previously received a $28 million equity investment in March 2014 and a subsequent pre-IPO investment of $7 million in October 2015.

Expected impact

Although India's debt market is well developed, the market for Tier II capital is weak. Our support enabled RBL Bank to reach more customers, provide more jobs, and boost the level of financing available to SMEs and agribusiness in the country.

In particular, it opened up lending to small-scale farmers and female micro-entrepreneurs, who have previously been excluded from formal financial services.

Today, RBL Bank employs close to 3,900 people. From 2012 to 2016, the bank created over 400 banking jobs each year and has the potential to generate jobs and provide livelihoods indirectly for an estimated 330,000 people over the next five years by expanding its loan book.

State-of-the-art IT systems and architecture also enabled the bank to scale its operations to support this growth.

Environmental and social aspects

We established the bank's first environment, social and governance (ESG) committee, and worked closely with RBL to develop its Environmental and Social Management System.

We also supported the design and delivery of financial inclusion and literacy programmes that RBL delivered in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

South Asia

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

Financial services
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Direct Equity, Direct Debt
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

March 2014

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.