In August 1943, RBL Bank was incorporated as a small, regional bank in Maharashtra with two branches in Kolhapur and Sangli. It was founded by a group of eminent patriotic personalities to cater to the needs of small and medium business merchants in the Kolhapur-Sangli belt. In August 1959, the Bank was categorised as a "Scheduled Commercial Bank" within the meaning of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. In the banking circles, RBL Bank was often known as the NH4 Bank, since a majority of its business was sourced from cities in and around the 1,235-kilometer-long National Highway 4 that connected four of the 10 most populous cities in India.
In July, 2010, RBL Bank underwent a transformation during the difficult economic period following the global financial crisis as well as the economic slowdown that followed in India. The Bank inducted Mr. Vishwavir Ahuja as the Managing Director & CEO to transform the institution from an old private sector bank into a vibrant, professionally governed and managed new-age bank with a high degree of professionalism, competitiveness, size and scale. The Bank also revamped the management by inducting professionals from the banking, finance, agriculture and other related fields. Since then, RBL has raised high quality institutional capital from noteworthy investors such HDFC Limited, Gaja Capital, Norwest Ventures, CDC Group Plc, Aditya Birla Private Equity, IDFC SPICE Fund, Ascent Capital among others. The Bank has raised Rs. 700 Cr. 2011, Rs 376 Cr. in 2013,Rs. 328 Cr. in April 2014 and successfully raised Rs. 488 Cr. as Pre-IPO preferential placement from several global and domestic investors augmenting its Tier 1 capital to meet the future capital needs of the Bank. Today, RBL Bank is one of India’s fastest growing private sector bank within the last 4 years. On August 31st, 2016, RBL Bank was listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The IPO received an overwhelming response from investors and was subscribed almost 70 times (QIB -86 times; NIB –nearly 200 times and Retail – 5.6 times).The Bank was listed at Rs 274 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), a 22% premium against its issue price of Rs 225 per share. In September 2016, RBL Bank raised Rs 330 Crores from the UK-based development finance institution, CDC Group Plc (CDC), through Basel III compliant Tier II capital.