The United Bank of India showed an impressive improvement in its Q4 performance after struggling over the last few quarters. Executive director Sanjay Arya spoke to FE after announcing the results. Excerpts:
What led to the turnaround in the fourth quarter after the bank posted losses in the previous two quarters?
A strong NPA recovery was the biggest contributing factor. Our operating profit was R540 crore and, out of that, a large amount of provisioning was required to be made in each quarter. This time, we contained our slippages. In fact, we actually effected recovery. Because of this recovery and due to conversion of NPA accounts into the standard category, the provision was written back (in Q4 of FY14).
Will you approach RBI now to relax some restrictions, including the lending cap, imposed earlier?
RBI had restricted us from lending more than R10 crore to a single account. We will internally discuss the scope that the economy is giving us in credit expansion on that front and, after that, we will approach RBI. Retail lending will be our focus, where these restrictions do not come as hindrance: Because retail lending is basically housing and mortgage loans, which are less than R2-3 crore.
Have you set any target for NPA reduction in the current quarter?
We will internally discuss, but then I assure you that this tempo of reduction of NPA will continue.
What is your capital raising plan going forward?
Though we have complied with the capital adequacy requirement (of Basel III), we will go to the market for QIP and also we will approach the government wherever there is a possibility to get the capital from it. We will make a request to the government in this regard.