Set to enter big league, Bandhan to bank on core competence

Apr 23 2014, 10:57 IST
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RBI has given in-principle approval to banking licence for Bandhan. RBI has given in-principle approval to banking licence for Bandhan.
SummaryWith a loan book of about Rs 6,000 crore, Bandhan today has a network of 2,016 branches.

account of their own as women are more astute savers than men,” he says.

Earlier, talking to FE, Bandhan CMD Ghosh had said that, as a full-fledged bank, it would focus on tapping the large unbanked population as well as deal with existing customers in unbanked rural areas.

Alok Prasad, CEO of MFI Industry body MFIN, says loans to low-income households have been Bandhan’s core competence and there still exist many such households that are unserved or underserved by mainstream banks. Prasad says apart from focussing on its existing customers, Bandhan could also tap the upper-end of the lower-income group, going forward.

According to him, as a full-fledged bank, Bandhan will, however, face a lot of challenges. Former SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri agrees. He says Bandhan, as a bank, has to ‘scale up’ its value of finance. “It has to go for high-value credit. As a mainstream bank, low-value credit will not help Bandhan break even, going forward,” says Chaudhuri. As an MFI, Bandhan’s current loan size is Rs 10,000.

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