Oriental Bank of Commerce is an India-based bank established in Lahore (then a city of British India, and currently in Pakistan), is one of the public sector banks in India.
Rai Bahadur Lala Sohan Lal, the first Chairman of the Bank, founded OBC in 1943 in Lahore. Within four years of its coming into existence, OBC had to face Partition. The bank had to close down its branches in the newly formed Pakistan and shift its registered office from Lahore to Amritsar. Lala Karam Chand Thapar, the then Chairman of the Bank, in a unique gesture honoured the commitments made to the depositors from Pakistan and paid every rupee to its departing customers.
The bank offers a wide range of banking products and services such as deposit accounts, loans, debit cards, credit cards (with tie up with SBI), Insurance products, ATMs, Internet banking, Mobile Banking, Self-banking halls, call centre, etc.
The Bank has launched yet another people's participation in the planning process at grass root level essentially to tackle the maladies of poverty. The Grameen Projects venture aims to alleviate poverty plus identify the reasons responsible for the failure or success.
OBC is already implementing a GRAMEEN PROJECT in Dehradun District (UK) and Hanumangarh District (Rajasthan). Formulated on the pattern of the Bangladesh Grameen Bank, the Scheme has a unique feature of disbursing small loans ranging from ₹75 (~US $1.5) onwards. The beneficiaries of the Grameen Project are mostly women.The Bank is engaged in providing training to rural folk in using locally available raw material to produce pickles, jams etc. This has provided self-employment and augmented income levels thus reforming lives of rural folk and encouraging cottage industries in rural areas.
OBC launched yet another unique scheme christened 'The Comprehensive Village Development Programme' on the auspicious day of Baisakhi, the 13th of April 1997 at three villages in Punjab namely Rurki Kalan (Distt. Sangrur), Raje Majra (Distt. Ropar) and Khaira Majha (Distt. Jaladhar) and two villages in Haryana, namely Khunga (Distt. Jind) and Narwal (Distt. Kaithal). The pilot launch was a great success. Emboldened by the success, Bank extended the programme to more villages. At present, it covers 15 villages; 10 in Punjab, 4 in Haryana and 1 in Rajasthan. The programme focuses on providing a comprehensive and integrated package providing rural finance to the villagers with Village Development as its focus, thus contributing towards infrastructural development and augmentation of income for each farmer of the village. The Bank has implemented 14 point action plan for strengthening of credit delivery to women and has designated 5 branches as specialised branches for women entrepreneurs.