Monday, August 20, 2012

Banks offer festive bonanza to customers

Mumbai, August 18: With an eye on getting business in the festive season, banks have started offering discounts on interest rates and waiving processing fees to attract retail customers. Mumbai-based Union Bank of India on Saturday announced it has waived processing fees on home and auto loans from August 15 to January 26.

State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, an associate of the State Bank of India, has found an innovative way to attract customers. While the bank is giving a discount of 25 basis points on retail loans across the board, customers who are applying for a car loan above Rs 10 lakh on line will get an additional rebate of 25 basis points, thus making the effective interest rate at 10.5 per cent which is the base rate of the bank, said Shiva Kumar, managing director, SBBJ. He added, the bank was offering 10.75 per cent for home loan customers, and those who apply on line will get a rebate of 10 basis points.

With credit growth slowing down in the current financial year amid high interest rate, banks are seeing the festive season as an opportunity to boost their credit portfolio. State Bank of India, for example, had said that it expected growth in retail credit to offset the impact of slowdown in corporate credit. The country's largest lender had earlier announced the cut in the interest rates for home and auto loans, immediately after Reserve Bank of India announced a one per cent SLR cut in July. SBI's home loan rates stand at 10.25 per cent for home loans up to Rs 30 lakh and 10.4 per cent for the loans above Rs 30 lakh. It also slashed its interest rate on car loans by 50 basis points to 10.75 per cent across the tenors.

Another public sector lender Andhra Bank is expected to take the decision about cutting interest rates on retail products. “We will be taking a decision soon” said, K K Misra, executive director of Andhra Bank.

Central Bank of India has already launched some products and is in the process of launching few more schemes both on asset and liability side. It has launched a special 555 days fixed deposit product in which the interest rate is higher by 50 basis points that the normal deposits of that tenor. It has also launched a recurring deposit account where the customer has the flexibility of putting the money according to his/her adjustment. Normally in the recurring accounts one has to put a fixed sum every month. “We will be waiving the processing fees on the retail loans, and where there is scope of reduction of interest rates we will cut the rates” said Ram Sangapure, general manager (retail), Central Bank of India.


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