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In a bid to stimulate demand, the State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday reduced its home loan rates by 15-25 bps. The country’s leading lender also cut the interest rates for women borrowers by another 5 bps. The bank’s home loan portfolio now stands at over R1.3 lakh crore.
For loans up to R75 lakh, rates have been cut to 10.15% per annum and, for those above R75 lakh, the revised rate stands at 10.3%, the bank said in a statement.
For women borrowers, these rates are 10.10% and 10.25%, respectively. The bank classifies women borrowers as those who fill loan applications alone or are first co-applicants and will own the property themselves or will be first co-owners.
The move comes more than a month after SBI raised its base rate by 20 bps to 10% in November to counter the rising pressure of higher cost of funds. Around the same time, HDFC Bank also hiked its base rate to 10%. SBI, which is also the leader in the home loan market, had raised its base rate after the Reserve Bank of India hiked repo rate by 25 bps to 7.75% on October 29.
Currently, Canara Bank has the lowest base rate in the industry at 9.95%. The base rates of SBI, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank all stand at 10% each, while most large lenders offer a base rate of 10.25% to customers.
Earlier, SBI charged 10.3% for loans up to R30 lakh and 10.5% for loans above that mark. The revised rates will be applicable from Friday, the statement said.
The revised equated monthly instalment (EMI) per lakh for a loan tenure of 30 years will be R885 for women customers and R889 for all other customers against the prevailing EMI of R900, the bank said.
SBI became the first lender to reduce interest rates after RBI’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. The central bank chose to not tinker with the repo rate even while retail inflation rates are soaring.
Bankers agree that any further decisions on their lending rates would depend on the liquidity position in the industry. If liquidity tightens and banks are required to raise deposit rates, the banking system may look at revising their lending rates upwards, bankers agreed.