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25% micro credit customers graduated to SMEs since Covid: Bandhan Bank MD

Ghosh says bank is looking to increase branch count to 8,000 nationally from the current 5,640

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh | Bandhan Bank | Microcredit

Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad 

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh
Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, MD & CEO, Bandhan Bank

Let alone meeting repayment targets, around 25 per cent of Bandhan Bank’s micro customers graduated to become small and medium enterprise (SME) loans in the last couple of years amid pandemic.

According to Bandhan Bank’s founder Managing Director and Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, the average ticket size for these customers too grew from Rs 55,000 to Rs 1.15 lakh in the past two years.

“Despite the pandemic, micro customers are growing into accounts or customers. Around 25 per cent of customers have graduated over two years with average ticket size growing from Rs 55,000 in micro to Rs 1.15 lakh in MSME. Eligibility of these customers increased to accounts during the pandemic though these were long-term micro credit customers,” Ghosh said on Wednesday.

With the bank on an expansion spree, it is doubling its branches in Gujarat, where it intends to enhance the state’s contribution to its books.

“Gujarat has opportunities in housing, and micro credit and we intend to double our branches from 200 to 400 by 2025. So far we have reached hardly one per cent of the population in Gujarat with 750,000 customers. We would like to reach 10 per cent of the population in Gujarat by 2025. This year alone, we are opening 551 branches nationally of which 31 are in Gujarat,” said Ghosh. By 2025, Ghosh said that would be expanding total branches in the country to 8,000 from 5,640 at present.

Gujarat accounted for Rs 8,000 crore of Bandhan Bank’s total advances of more than Rs 1 trillion as of March. Of this, Rs 5,500 crore comes from housing loans, with the rest from micro credit and SMEs, among others.

The bank has a deposit book of more than Rs 2,500 crore in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, commenting on non-performing assets (NPAs), Ghosh said that while the gross NPA stood at 6.97 per cent, net NPA was 1.6 per cent. “We have made provisions for nearly 100 per cent of this,” he added.

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First Published: Wed, September 21 2022. 19:14 IST