Economy likely to rebound by Q4 of FY22 Bandhan Bank bullish on meeting targets Chandra Shekhar Ghosh

    Kolkata, May 9 (PTI) Bandhan Bank MD & CEO Chandra
Shekhar Ghosh is hopeful that the economy will rebound by the
third and fourth quarters of the current fiscal, enabling the
lender to meet its targets.
    He said the bank had exercised caution amid the
COVID-19 pandemic and made additional provisioning in the last
quarter of 2020-21.
    "We remain cautiously optimistic for the current
fiscal as we have made additional provisioning as safeguard.
The second wave of Covid pain is expected to subside in the
next two-three months, and this time people are better geared
than the first wave that took everyone by surprise.
    "The worst seems to be over, and the economy will
rebound by the time major lending business happens in Q3 and
Q4, to meet our targets," Ghosh told PTI.
    On NPAs, he said the numbers will come down with time
as borrowers are aware about missing repayments amid the
pandemic scenario.
    "I recently went to an area where NPAs are high, and
people acknowledged Bandhan's role in development of that
locality. They are aware of the lapses in repayments due to
the present situation, and have sought more time. So, there is
an intent to repay; it's just a matter of time for our NPAs to
come down," he said.
    Bandhan Bank had on Saturday reported an 80 per cent
dip in its March quarter net profit at Rs 103 crore, as it
wrote off a huge portfolio of loans worth Rs 1,929 crore in
the flagship microlending business by recognising stress
upfront.
    As a result of the accelerated write-off, the bank's
overall provisions shot up to Rs 1,594 crore in the reporting
quarter from the year-ago period's Rs 827 crore. It also made
an additional provision of Rs 388 crore on standard advances
in the microfinance segment.
    "We have almost doubled our provisions during the
quarter (under review). We restructured housing loan accounts
to the tune of Rs 617 crore, but none in the microfinance
portfolio," Ghosh said.
    Retail banking loss for the lender in the quarter to
March stood at Rs 112.66 crore. However, the retail loan book
grew by nearly 25 per cent on-year to Rs 79,466 crore in the
2020-21 fiscal.
    Bandhan Bank's collection efficiency (including
write-offs and NPAs) stood at 95 per cent as of March 2021 as
against 92 per cent in December 2020.
    Ghosh had Saturday said troubles in two key markets of
West Bengal and Assam, arising due to factors like state
elections, a local law in Assam and the second wave of the
pandemic, have subsided, with both the states showing
collection performance at over 90 per cent. PTI BSM
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(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)