India-based RBL Bank has increased its stake in micro-lender Swadhaar FinServe from 30% to 60.48% and owns the rights to take it up to 100%.

Swadhaar FinServe offers services to the financial inclusion segment covering MSME & Micro banking in rural and semi-urban areas.

In September 2016, RBL Bank purchased 30% stake in Swadhaar, which now runs as the bank’s business correspondent in 17 states and union territories through 242 branches. Swaadhar helped the bank to create an AUM of around INR10bn ($155m) as of September 2017.

RBL Bank said that the deal is in line with its business strategy to use technologies and partnerships and extend its service offerings to the under-banked.

RBL Bank managing director and CEO Vishwavir Ahuja said: “Deepening our relationship with Swadhaar Finserve, now a subsidiary of the Bank, is in sync with our broad vision and strategy. Over the past few years, we have been able to establish a sizable business in the financial inclusion segment with an advances book of around Rs. 4,600 crores serving 1.9 million borrowers.

“The bank sees Swadhaar as a vehicle to execute its strategy to become a significant player in the financial inclusion and micro banking segment, catering to the economically weaker and underserved households.”