Bandhan Financial eyes deposits from existing client base in bank avatar

starnews

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh is a quintessential Bengali — he loves traditional sweets like rasgollas and sandesh, listens to Rabindra sangeet and is as big fan of Manna Dey as he is of writer Samaresh Majumdar. He’s deeply inspired by Amartya Sen’s vision of financial inclusion and it is partly that philosophy that has driven him to set up the country’s largest microfinance institution (MFI) Bandhan, that has just won approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to become a bank.

With a non-performing assets ratio of just 0.13%, Bandhan’s R6,000-crore book, comprising entirely unsecured loans, must be the cleanest in the business, and Ghosh intends to keep it that way.

The way the Bandhan chairman and managing director sees it, the biggest benefit of becoming a bank is that it will help lower interest rates for borrowers, currently at 22.9%.

Given that Bandhan borrows at 13% today from a…

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