Festival time for banks as customers return

Going by the numbers so far, the ongoing festive season could turn out to be a busy one for bankers...

Mumbai | Published: October 2, 2014 1:39 am

Going by the numbers so far, the ongoing festive season could turn out to be a busy one for bankers looking to lend to consumers for big- ticket items like homes and cars. State Bank of India (SBI) confirms that sanctions for home loans and car loans have picked up smartly since the start of Navratri. B Sriram, managing director, SBI, confirms consumer demand for homes and cars is on an uptrend.

The lender is now sourcing 2,000 car loans a day, or roughly R100 crore, which is way more than the numbers last year.

“In terms of sanctions too, the numbers are better than what we were doing last year,” Sriram told FE.

Home loans too are picking up at SBI. Sriram added that the bank was currently sourcing about home loans worth R200 crore per day and was sanctioning about R160-170 crore per day. SBI is looking to increase the sourcing of home loans to R300 crore per day and sanctioning about R260-270 crore over the current festive season. SBI’s outstanding home loan portfolio, the current market leader, now stands at about R1.5 lakh crore, up from R1,44,210 crore in the June quarter.

While the bank hasn’t really trimmed interest rates —it offers the most competitive rate for home and car loans — processing fees have been waived for auto loans. Also, last year, SBI had tightened the eligibility criteria for car loans but these have been eased since then.

With few takers for corporate loans, banks are left with little choice but to push for retail loans. Bankers confirmed at the post-monetary policy press conference on Tuesday that demand seemed to be looking up. Chanda Kochhar, managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank, said that retail credit has been growing. “Sentiments such as the festivals will add to further demand,” she added.

According to latest Reserve Bank of India data, consumer loans in the banking system grew at 12.8% year-on-year to R10,79,200 crore compared with the 7.6% credit growth to industries in August.

Shashidhar KJ | The Financial Express

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