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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bandhan Bank to scale up retail lending from next fiscal

Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank is on course to introducing new products and scaling up its presence in the retail lending segment. The offerings are expected to be introduced next fiscal onwards.

According to Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, Founder, MD and CEO of Bandhan Bank, “teams are being readied”, with offerings targeting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), housing reconstruction or “smaller value” home loans, vehicle financing and loans against property.

The teams, he said, will consist of members across verticals that include those with microfinance expertise, banking background and fresh recruits with hold over the local language.

“There are some common requirements across regions and states. Our retail loan portfolio will start catering to some of these common sectors,” he maintained.

Currently, some of the retail loan offerings are being tested across states on a smaller scale. For example, the (rural and suburb) vehicle financing loan scheme, started with lending (Rs.80,000 to Rs.1 lakh) to 1,000-odd people in the first phase and on a pilot-basis.

“It is more important for us to first create a credit repayment habit in a region. Hence, we start with selective lending and establish a repayment cycle first. Once this happens, we look at increasing our disbursements there,” Ghosh told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a summit organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Small portfolio

According to him, the portfolio of offerings will ‘deliberately’ be kept small. This is to refrain customers from having a negative perception.

“Too many offerings can actually create confusion and deter a customer. In many cases a bank’s branch manager does not know about a very specific product if there are too many variants of it,” he pointed out.

Apart from small vehicle financing (done through its micro-financing wing), Bandhan has started giving housing loans in some areas.

MSME loans too are being disbursed. Loans below Rs.1 crore are initially being targeted. Once the bank has a foothold, it will look to give MSME loans of Rs.1 crore and above. “Corporate lending will come at a later stage,” he added.

Meanwhile, over the last five months (September to January), the lender mobilised deposits to the tune of Rs.7,000 crore. The country’s largest microfinance lender, Bandhan, began full-fledged banking operations in August last year.

The bank has over 612 branches and more than 750,000 customers across 27 states. Its loan book stands at Rs.12,500 crore, against a targeted Rs.13,000 crore (till March 2016).

Source : Thehindubusinessline


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