Coronavirus Lockdown: Bandhan Bank Sees No Problem In Loan Repayments
A branch of Bandhan Bank Ltd. in the Prabhadevi area of Mumbai, India. (Photo: BloombergQuint)

Coronavirus Lockdown: Bandhan Bank Sees No Problem In Loan Repayments

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Private lender Bandhan Bank Ltd. does not apprehend any repayment issues owing to the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19, a top bank official said.

Recovery, however, has been halted at present due to the curbs.

MD and CEO of Bandhan Bank Chandrasekhar Ghosh said repayments should not be a cause for concern as borrowers' businesses are continuing.

"Recovery of micro loans from borrowers have stopped from March 23," Ghosh told PTI.

He said since bank personnel cannot physically go to collect the loan repayment amount, the outstanding will remain at the previous level.

Ghosh said interest will be recovered at the time of repayment, irrespective of whether the customer opted for the three-month RBI moratorium.

"We are explaining to our customers that the costs involved in opting for the moratorium are high since the interest will be compounded at the time of repayment," another bank official said.

In case of micro-finance, repayments are made on a weekly basis (equated weekly instalments), and not as EMIs.

The official said most of the bank's customers are apprised of the costs of opting for the moratorium and are agreeable to repay as per schedule.

Earlier during the start of the bank in August 2015, exposure to the micro-banking sector was almost 80 percent of total advances.

Ghosh had earlier said the lender's aim is to lower the micro-banking exposure to 50 percent. After its merger with Gruh Home Finance, the exposure had come down to around 61 percent as on Dec. 31.

As on March 31, Bandhan Bank's total loan book stood at Rs 71,825 crore, reflecting a 60 percent year-on-year growth.

Deposits from the micro-banking sector continues to be strong and stable, despite the lockdown, Ghosh added.

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