Since their inception, regional rural banks (RRBs) have taken deep roots and have become a sort of inseparable part of the rural credit structure in India. The financial viability of the RRBs has, however, been a matter of concern since the 1980s, just five years after their existence. A number of committees have gone into the issue of their financial viability and possible restructuring. This study follows a deductive approach. First the extent of the problem of the loss making RRBs has been studied to analyse if the problem is confined to some particular sponsor banks or States. Subsequently, an attempt is made to enquire as to factors that influence the performance of the RRBs and the role-played by the sponsor banks. The empirical analysis has been couched in terms of profit and loss making RRBs for a reasonably long (10-year) period to draw robust policy inferences.