Money & Banking

Kerala Bank posts ₹374.75-cr profit despite pandemic-led slowdown

Our Bureau. Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on October 15, 2020 Published on October 15, 2020

Kerala Bank, the merged entity of the apex Kerala State Cooperative Bank with 13 District Cooperative Banks in the State, has reported a net profit of ₹374.75 crore, as per the first audited financial results after amalgamation on November 29, 2019.

The accumulated losses as on the date of amalgamation was ₹1,150.75 crore. The net profit since earned has helped bring down the accumulated losses to ₹776 crore. The bank achieved a turnaround in the face of several adversities, including the Covid-19 pandemic, said Kadakampally Surendran, Minister of Cooperation, Tourism and Devaswom, Kerala.

Generally, the maximum amount of loans in the cooperative sector are repaid during the months of March to June. However, this year, the unexpected situation arising out of the Covid-19 crisis led to a decline in loan recoveries. This led to an increase in the bank’s non-performing assets (NPAs) portfolio. The bank has provided a sum of ₹1,524.54 crore towards NPAs, which means the total provisions made is more than twice the accumulated losses.

Revamped loan portfolio

It had clocked total business of ₹1,01,194.40 crore, comprising ₹61,037.59 crore of deposits and ₹40,156.81 crore of advances. The year-on-year growth in deposits was to the tune of ₹1,525.8 crore, and that of advances, ₹2,026.40 crore. The minister attributed this significant performance to support from the State government, patronage from cooperatives and customers, and unstinted collective efforts of its committed workforce.

Kerala Bank has introduced 13 loan schemes with loan products being revamped with focus on priority sectors like agriculture, small-scale industry and housing for weaker sections, among others, to focus on long-term agriculture lending. The bank plans to play a role in the stable development of agriculture in the state by cashing in on the potential offered by what the minister described as an upsurge in the agriculture sector.

Secured, trustworthy services

The bank has introduced its Express Gold Loan Scheme in all its 769 branches in order to reduce the monopoly of NBFCs specialising in gold loans. There has been good response from customers to the MSME Suvidha Scheme aimed at small business entrepreneurs. This apart, a special housing loan scheme called Suvidha is on offer for MSME entrepreneurs and customers belonging to the weaker sections.

The aim of the bank is to extend all affordable, secured and trustworthy banking services to all sections of society, the minister said. Currently, Kerala Bank has seven regional offices, 13 credit processing centres, and 769 branches across the state. It aims is to empower the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies and other cooperative institutions in the state.

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Published on October 15, 2020
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