The beginning of the Kerala State Co-operative Bank Ltd dates back to early 20th century. In 1914, the then Maharaja of Travancore, His Highness Sree Moolam Thirunal Ramavarma, through a proclamation introduced “The Travancore Co-operative Societies Regulation Act”. The Bank was registered in the year 1915 as the “Trivandrum Central Co-operative Bank” which was the first Co-operative Society to be formed in the former princely State of Travancore. It started functioning as a Bank on 18th January, 1916 with a share capital of ₹1,00,000 made up of 1000 shares of ₹100 each. In the beginning there were 16 Co-operative Societies and 69 individuals as its members.
In 1943, it was converted into the Travancore Central Co-operative Bank, giving it a federal character of the Travancore State. In the wake of Indian Independence and the reorganization of States, the Bank was re-organized as a State Co-operative Bank for Travancore-Cochin State in the year 1954. In the year 1956, the reorganization of Indian States took place. The State of Kerala was formed on 1st November, 1956. The Bank was then elevated to the position of State Co-operative Bank for the State of Kerala and it became “The Kerala State Co-operative Bank Ltd.” At that time, the Bank had a working capital of ₹42.90 lakhs, deposit of ₹30.33 lakhs and loans and advances to the tune of ₹21.66 lakhs.
The Kerala State Co-operative Bank was registered and retained as an Apex Bank in which only the Co-operative Banks approved by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies were admitted as members. Since then, the Trivandrum District Co-operative Bank and the Government of Kerala were the only members. Subsequently after the formation of the Districts, District Co-operative Banks were registered in each District and all the District Co-operative Banks were admitted as members.
In July 1966, the Kerala State Co-operative Bank Ltd was included in the 2nd Schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934. As per the provisions contained in the 2nd Schedule of the Act, gradually approved the Bank as a Scheduled State Co-operative Bank. The Kerala State Co-operative Bank Ltd is the first Scheduled Apex Co-operative Bank in the Co-operative Banking Sector in the country. In 1972, it was issued a license to carry on the business of Banking under Section 22 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1966. This Bank is a financing bank as defined in the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act, 1969 and is a Co-operative Society which has only other Co-operative Societies as its members. The bank is engaged in banking business within the frame work of rules/regulations/guidelines stipulated by Reserve Bank of India and National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD).
The Government of Kerala had taken a policy decision to convert the existing three tier short term co-operative structure within the State into a two tier structure. The Reserve Bank of India had conveyed their consent for the amalgamation of 13 District Co-operative Banks which approved scheme of amalgamation with Kerala State Co-operative Bank. The Registrar of Co-operative Societies has approved the resolution passed by 13 District Co-operative Banks on 3rd July, 2019 to transfer its assets and liabilities in whole to Kerala State Co-operative Bank and issued order for amalgamation of 13 District Co-operative Bank with Kerala state Co-operative Bank, based on the resolutions passed by General Bodies of respective District Co-operative Banks as provided under section 14A of Kerala Co-operative Societies Act. Accordingly from 29th November, 2019 onwards, Kerala State Co-operative Bank and 13 District Co-operative Banks are functioning as a single entity with Brand Name “Kerala Bank”.
Smt. Mini Antony IAS (Secretary, Department of Co-operation, Government of Kerala) was the Administrator of the Interim governing Kerala Bank from 1st January to 29th November, 2019. On the Interim Board, Smt. Rani George IAS (Managing director, Kerala State Co-operative Bank), Sri. Sanjai Kaul IAS (Principal Secretary, Finance & expenditure, Government of Kerala) were the members.
On 21st November 2019, a 21-member Board of Directors was elected with Mr. Gopi Kottamurickal as President and Mr. MK Kannan as Vice President. Mr. V.Raveendran is the Chairman of the Bank's 11 - member Board of Management.
Bye-law Amendment to adopt the brand name 'Kerala Bank' and it was approved by the General Body meeting of the Bank on 20th January, 2020.
In continuation of Amendment of Kerala Cooperative Societies Act 74 (H), Erstwhile Malappuram District Cooperative Bank merged to Kerala Bank as per the Final Order of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies Vide CB (5) 6394/2020 dt.12.01.2023 . Sri. Dr.N.Anil Kumar, General Manager taken as the charge of Special Officer of Malappuram CPC on 13.01.2023. After the merger of Malappuram District Co-operative Bank into Kerala Bank total 1630 Primary Agriculture Co-operative Societies and 58 Urban Cooperative Bank including total 1688 A class members are in Kerala Bank. There are total 823 Branches in 14 District in the Bank.