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Thursday, January 12, 2012

SBI slashes processing fee for greater home loan pie

MUMBAI: State Bank of India (SBI) has slashed processing fees on home loans by half, a move aimed at garnering a larger pie in the home loan market and giving competition to private banks and housing finance companies.

"The decision is aimed at creating goodwill. With regards to fees charged from retail customers, SBI will charge only to the extent of covering its cost and not earn profit on it," said a senior official from the bank on condition of anonymity.

The bank has reduced processing fee on home loan above Rs 75 lakh to Rs 10,000 from Rs 20,000. For loans in the range of Rs 30 to Rs 75 lakh, the fees has been lowered to Rs 6,500 from Rs 10,000 earlier. The processing fee for loan below Rs 30 lakh continues to be 0.25% of the loan amount.

The reduction in the rates follows a decision taken by the policy committee chaired by SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri. The new charges will be effective from January 11. Axis Bank and ICICI Bank charge 0.5% of the loan amount sanctioned as processing fee, while housing finance leader HDFC charges 0.50% of the loan amount with a cap of Rs 10,000.

So, on a loan of Rs 50 lakh currently, SBI's processing fee would be the cheapest among the four banks - it would be stand at Rs 6,500 as against Rs 25,000 (0.5% of Rs 50 lakh) charged by ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, and Rs 10,000 by HDFC. This is yet another aggressive stand taken by SBI to grab the home loan pie.

In November, SBI was the first bank to do away with pre-payment penalty on floating and fixed rate loans. "In an environment where all banks are moving towards zero pre-payment charges, we believe processing fee in the industry would tend to rise over a period of time," said Jairam Sridharan, head - consumer lending and payments at Axis Bank. "Also, the waiver of pre-payment penalty will only encourage customers to prepay more loans, more frequently.

Therefore, it is not sustainable to have a lower processing fee." "At a time when corporate sector is going through a lot of pain, SBI may prefer to decelerate its corporate loan book and expand its retail loan book. And this move may be aimed at that," said Hemindra Hazari, head of research - institutional equities at Nirmal Bang, a broking firm.

Source: EconomicTimes


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