Good news for homebuyers: SBI cuts lending rates by 5 basis points across all tenor

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Mumbai | Published: May 11, 2019 1:47:13 AM

State Bank of India (SBI) on Friday cut the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) across tenors by five basis points, pegging the one-year MCLR at 8.45%, making it the most competitive among the top-tier lenders.

SBI since May 1 has linked its savings deposit rates and term-loan rates to the repo rate.

State Bank of India (SBI) on Friday cut the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) across tenors by five basis points (bps) pegging the one-year MCLR at 8.45%, making it the most competitive among the top-tier lenders.

HDFC Bank’s one-year MCLR is 8.7% while for ICICI Bank it is slightly higher at 8.75%.

The state-owned lender has cut its lending rate twice in the last one month after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut repo rates by 25 basis points to 6% in the April monetary policy.

SBI since May 1 has linked its savings deposit rates and term-loan rates to the repo rate. The lender’s home loan rates have fallen by 15 bps since April 10, the bank said in a statement.

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The bank in February had cut home loan rates by 5 bps for loans up to Rs 30 lakh and aimed at keeping interest rates on home loans between 8.6% and 8.9%. ICICI Bank offers home loans at 9.05%-10.25% for loans up to Rs 30 lakh.

Although the RBI cut repo rate first in February and then in April, the banks have been reluctant to drop loan rates on the back of a slower deposit growth rate – sub 10%.

Banks have also been apprehensive of the RBI’s proposal to change the way banks price their loans. The central bank wants lenders to link loan rates to an external benchmark rate like the repo rate or the 91-day or 182-day treasury bill.

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Bank credit in India is expected to grow at 13-14% on average between FY19 and FY20, significantly faster compared with the 8% in FY18, which would force a change in the deposit mobilisation plans of banks over the medium term, said experts at Crisil Ratings.

To meet this credit growth, banks will have to raise about Rs 25 lakh crore over the two fiscals, said the experts.

Banks have been cutting their lending rates over the past months. HDFC Bank had cut its MCLR by 5-10 bps in April, while ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank (PNB) cut their MCLR rates by 5 and 10 bps, respectively. Alternatively, Bank of Baroda hiked its MCLR by 5 bps to 8.7% on May 7.

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