We will try to develop our activity in a very calibrated way: CEO of IDBI Bank
Now that IDBI Bank is out of the restrictive Quick Corrective Action (PCA) framework, it will increase its loan portfolio in a calibrated manner to avoid concentration risk, according to its managing director and CEO, Rakesh Sharma.
Although the bank’s growth was hampered by the PCA framework, which was imposed by the RBI in 2017 due to its high non-performing assets and negative return on assets, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has launched a lifeline of ₹ 21,624 crore to the bank in FY19.
In an interaction with Activity area, Sharma stressed that the bank is on safe ground. As part of the government’s plan to sell 45.48% of the bank’s capital, he observed that employees need not worry about this development and should focus only on performance. Excerpts:
What does leaving the PCA mean for the bank?
First of all, let me tell you the downsides of PCA. The size of our balance sheet was shrinking. We have not been able to grow our advances to businesses, including business loans rated “AAA” and “AA”. As the business went down, our income also went down. We were unable to open branches. It’s not that we want to be very aggressive.
But yes, there were so many restrictions. Even for small expenses we had to accept approval from rgw RBI. All of this fundamentally hampered the growth of the bank.
But we were able to stop the slippage to a large extent. We have also performed recoveries and our provision coverage ratio (97%) is quite high. Over the past four years, we have worked on our risk management policies, corporate governance and internal management. We were able to improve them.
Now that we are out of PCA, we will be free to do any type of business. But by learning from the past, we will avoid concentration / overexposure to certain industries. We will try to develop our business in a very calibrated way so that we can increase revenues and improve our efficiency parameters.
Now that you are out of PCA, are you going to change the composition of retail loans to business loans?
We used to be a corporate bank. As a result, business loans represented 67% of our total loans in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Currently, business loans represent only 40%. 100 of our total loans. Thus, 60 p. Eighty percent of our loan portfolio is retail. In accordance with our policy approved by the Board of Directors, our target is that more than 55% of our total loan portfolio be for individuals and 45% for businesses. We want to keep low-cost deposits, which were around 49 percent of total deposits in the third quarter of FY21, at around 47-48 percent.
We will increase our loan portfolio by approximately 8-10 percent in fiscal year 22. Next year we want to increase our net interest margin above 3% (2.79% in Q3 FY21 ). Our target for RoA, which in the December 2020 quarter was 0.51%, is to increase it to 0.60% next year and gradually increase it.
We want to focus more on lending to selective industries and not just infrastructure. So manufacturing will be our main focus where good titles are visible. We will also take selective exposure to infrastructure projects, but in a calibrated manner. Right now our standard advances are 1.20 lakh crore. Our company’s progress is approximately ₹ 48,000 crore. For FY 22, we forecast more than 12 percent growth in personal loans, but for business loans, the growth will be 8 to 10 percent.
Will you develop your branch network?
We have not expanded our branch network in the past four years. We will not be very aggressive on this front. If we feel that in some areas our presence is not there, then we can open branches. But in today’s digital banking, networks of business correspondents and business facilitators, physical branches are not needed.
So we will depend more on these alternative channels. But yes, there is no restriction as such on opening branches now.
Our cost / revenue ratio was 57% at the end of March 2020, and in the third quarter of FY21 it was around 52%. So although we were able to control our spending, the denominator (income) did not increase. Our goal is to bring this ratio below 50 percent by March 2022. So, while keeping costs under control, we will increase revenues.
Won’t the perception of depositors on IDBI Bank change once the government sells its stake in the bank?
Clients, especially depositors, can take comfort in the fact that our capital adequacy ratio is now 14.77 percent; we have made consistent profits over the past five quarters; and other ratios such as the liquidity coverage ratio are well above RBI standards.
So the comfort that we can offer our customers is that we will improve the performance of our bank so that it becomes solid. There are private banks that are solid. Our customers will have the comfort that we will become one of the good, strong banks.
How do you respond to employee anxiety about the government’s sale of its stake in the bank?
Our employees were also concerned when LIC took over 51 percent of our bank. There were also court cases. But in the end, our bank won… I ran town halls in almost all the big cities where I spoke to employees. I contacted all of the employees writing to them that they shouldn’t be worried.
Ultimately, every promoter wants good workers / performers. So you have to focus on performance… It’s not as if with a new promoter everything is going to change. The work / performance related incentive will be there … I gave this message that they don’t have to worry. They have to focus on performance.