Kochi, the second largest city in the Indian state of Kerala, was known as Cochin earlier. Kochi is situated on the western coast of India, overlooking the Arabian Sea and is popular for its scenic beaches and beautiful backwaters. Sometimes called the Queen of the Arabian Sea, this historic city was a harbor and trading center for spices. The civic administration of Kochi is divided into 74 wards which include a few localities situated in the outskirts of the city. Kochi is considered to be the commercial capital of Kerala for its natural harbor and several industries in the areas of chemical, IT and health services. A major industrial area in Kerala, Kalamassery, is situated around 17 kilometers from the City Center and it not only houses manufacturing units but many IT and Financial firms. The LuLu Mall at Ernakulam serves as a landmark as it is the largest shopping mall in India. The Kochi Port, the Fort Kochi area, the Syro-Malabar Church and the beautiful beaches make Kochi and amazing location for tourism. It is also connected to nearby tourist destinations like Aleppy, Munnar and Thekkady. Kochi is the business center for Kerala as most of the major private banks and financial institutions have their offices in the city, catering to the different financial needs of people of Kochi.
In 2000, Indian Overseas Bank engaged in an initial public offering (IPO) that brought the governments share in the banks equity down to 75%. In 2001, the IOB acquired the Mumbai-based Adarsha Janata Sahakari Bank. Then in 2009, the bank took over Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank, which was founded in 1969 and had its head office in Pune. Since 2006, Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank had been in administration. It had nine offices in Pune, 2 in Mumbai and 1 in Shirpur. The total strength of employees was estimated to be more than 100. On 29 August 2003, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an extension counter at New Kathiresan Temple complex, Bambalapitiya, Ceylon. The IOB opened a representative office in Guangzhou, China in 2005 followed which the bank opened another representative office in Kuala Lumpur and 2009 in Dubai, UAE. In the new millennium, international expansion started once again. The bank took over Bharat Overseas Bank in 2007. After three years, Malaysia granted a commercial banking license to a local bank jointly owned by BOB, IOB, and the Andhra Bank. The new bank named, India International Bank ( IIB Malaysia), began its business in 2012 in Kuala Lumpur and had a large population of Indians. The Andhra Bank holds a 25% stake in its joint-venture, BOB owns 40%, and remaining 35% is with IOB. On 31 August 2013, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an offshore banking unit in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The bank also converted its existing Extension Counter at Ceylon into a full-fledged branch.