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Do you Know Why Catholic Syrian Bank Changed its Name to CSB Bank Before the IPO?

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

While announcing the name change, the management had explained: 'There is a misconception by the general public, of the bank being owned by a particular community, and this is not true.'

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Stock market investors are keeping a close eye on the initial public offering (IPO) of Kerala-based private sector lender CSB Bank Ltd that opens for subscription from 22 November. The bank will be selling shares in the price band of Rs 193-195 apiece, raising a total of up to Rs 410 crore. Like any other company, CSB Bank also wants its IPO to be a success and has left no stone unturned to garner good response from investors. But do you know it has even changed its name for the said purpose?

Yes. In April, the then ‘Catholic Syrian Bank’ said it will be changing its name to ‘CSB Bank Limited’ soon. The decision by the management was made after it realised that the lender’s business was getting affected due to a belief that the bank either belonged to the war-torn country ‘Syria’ or is owned by the community of ‘Catholics’.

While announcing the name change, the management had explained: “There is a misconception by the general public, of the bank being owned by a particular community, and this is not true.”

The management had said that it noticed that many Indian customers are averse to conducting any business dealings with the bank due to the misunderstandings created by its name. Foreign customers, having good business connections in India, also avoided dealing with the bank for the only reason that part of the name either indicates a religious community’s interference or represents a foreign country, it added.

In fact, C V R Rajendran, the bank’s managing director and CEO, had said: “Most of our deposits are from NRI (non-resident Indian) sources. Many customers were not getting the amount in NRI remittance transactions because remittances were automatically filtered out by foreign banks on seeing the name ‘Syrian’.” He added that both exporters and importers had suffered as the bank’s letters of credit were not accepted.

Considering the expansion plan envisaged, both within the country and abroad, a name which does not suffer from these issues was needed, the management concluded. Hence, in June, the name was changed to the acronym of the original one that was also popular in public -- CSB Bank.

Earlier, Maharashtra-based Ratnakar Bank also changed its name to RBL Bank to avoid any possible loss of business due to the confusion that bank belonged to a particular community.

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