Lenders are apprehensive that the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) target of cleaning up balance sheets of banks by March 2017 may force them to take very large hits, if compressed into a very short period of time, SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said on Friday.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event here, Bhattacharya said the bank will see how it works out. “So we will see how it works out and I think at this point of time it does not make sense to conjecture on these matters,” she added.
She explained that there is nothing that has gone wrong beyond what happened last quarter. “We are beginning to see quite a few things happening and the movement has been positive and not negative,” Bhattacharya said.
The RBI recently sent banks a list of around 150 companies which have not been uniformly classified by various banks and asked banks to provide for such accounts by March 2016. This seems to be the first step in RBI’s bad loan clean-up drive announced by governor Raghuram Rajan. He had said that the central bank would want to put something like March 2017 on the table by when clean-up will have to be done.
Meanwhile, SBI on Friday launched SBI e-Smart SME, a working capital loan offering for sellers on e-commerce platforms. It was launched in partnership with e-commerce platform Snapdeal, which has close to 2.3 lakh sellers. Sellers will be able to avail themselves of working capital loans of up to Rs 25 lakh. All loans below Rs 10 lakh will also get covered under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Scheme and will carry a maximum interest rate of 11.3% and would not require collateral. Women entrepreneurs will be charged 25 bps lower.
Sellers can apply for loan online and get immediate sanction. This product, SBI said, does not use traditional lending based on financial statements like balance sheet and income tax returns; and instead uses proprietary platform data and surrogate information from public domain to assess the seller’s credit worthiness for loan sanctioning.