UCO Bank, formerly United Commercial Bank, established in 1943 in Kolkata, is a major government-owned commercial bank of India. During FY 2013-14, its total business was Rs 4550 billion. Based on 2014 data, it is ranked 1860 on Forbes Global 2000 List. UCO Bank was ranked 294th among India's most trusted brands according to the Brand Trust Report 2014, a study conducted by Trust Research Advisory. It was a rise of 796 ranks considering it was listed at the 1090th position among India's most trusted brands in the Brand trust Report 2013. As of 6 January 2013 the bank had 4000 service units 44 zonal offices spread all over India. It also has two overseas branches, on each in Singapore and Hong Kong. UCO Bank's headquarters is on B.T.M. Sarani, Kolkata.
Ghanshyam Das Birla, an eminent Indian industrialist, during the Quit India movement of 1942, conceived the idea of organising a commercial bank with Indian capital and management, and the United Commercial Bank Limited was incorporated to give shape to that idea. The bank was started with Kolkata as its head office with an issued capital of ₹2 crores and a paid-up capital of ₹1 crore. Birla was its chairman and the Board of Directors included eminent personalities of India drawn from many fields. The bank opened 14 branches simultaneously across India.
After World War II, United Commercial Bank opened several overseas branches. The first, in 1947, was in Rangoon (Yangon). Branches in Singapore (1951), Hong Kong (March 1952), London (1953), and Malaysia followed. In 1963 the revolutionary government in Burma nationalized United Commercial Bank's three branches there, which became People's Bank No. 6.
On 15 September 1967, Jalpaiguri Banking and Trading Corporation (JBTC) which had been established in Jalpaiguri in 1887 (or 1889; accounts differ), made a voluntary transfer of its assets and liabilities to United Commercial Bank. JTBC had only one office and specialized in lending against mortgages on tea gardens.
The Government of India nationalised United Commercial Bank on 19 July 1969. The nationalized bank continued the operations of the overseas branches in London, Singapore, and Hong Kong. However, Malaysian law forbade foreign government ownership of banks in Malaysia. Therefore, United Commercial, Indian Overseas Bank, and Indian Bank contributed their operations in Malaysia to a new joint-venture bank incorporated in Malaysia, United Asian Bank, with each of the three parent banks owning a third of the shares. At the time, Indian Bank had three branches, and Indian Overseas Bank and United Commercial Bank had eight between them.
An act of parliament changed the bank's name to UCO Bank in 1985, as a bank in Bangladesh existed with the name "United Commercial Bank", which caused confusion in the international banking arena.
In 1991, Bank of Commerce Bhd, a Malaysian bank, acquired United Asian Bank; in time CIMB came to own Bank of Commerce.
In 1998, UCO closed its London branch. Bank of Baroda acquired the assets and liabilities, but not the personnel, who were made redundant.