Monday, November 17, 2014
When the banking sector was nationalised in India, fourteen commercial banks ended up in the hands of the Government of India. Of those, there were two that had been established in Madras - the Indian Overseas Bank and the Indian Bank. The latter was set up in 1907, following the crash of the Arbuthnot Bank, by V.Krishnaswamy Iyer, a lawyer of the Madras High Court. He was the moving force behind the Indian Bank, though it was sustained by Ramaswamy Chettiar and later, his younger brother Annamalai Chettiar.
Initially headquartered in George Town - the commercial hub of Madras - the bank moved to Royapettah much later. This new building came up less than 10 years ago; the bustle of Avvai Shanmugham Salai seems a rather unlikely location for the headquarters of one of India's largest banks; but there it is!