Money & Banking

We are looking at a revival through retail focus, says Shivan JK, MD, Dhanlaxmi Bank

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on June 02, 2021

Shivan JK, Managing Director, CEO, Dhanlaxmi Bank

Head of the Thrissur-based private bank is optimistic of achieving a good growth rate in the current fiscal

Thrissur-based Dhanlaxmi Bank has chalked out strategies for growth by expanding its retail book. Shivan JK, Managing Director and CEO, is optimistic of achieving a good growth rate in the current fiscal. He says that the bank would continue to focus on CASA and retail advances including gold loans. The business volumes grew 6.39 per cent to ₹18,834 crore for the last fiscal. Edited excerpts:

What are your growth plans in the current financial year?

We will continue our focus on expanding our retail book through gold loan and other retail products. We have launched limited period MSME campaign. Our gold loan book is showing steady growth and with the launch of special 1/3-month product this book is gaining traction.

Also read: Dhanlaxmi Bank posts ₹5.28 crore net profit in Q4

We are looking at an overall 12-15 percent growth with thrust on retail/ agri including microfinance and select MSME and corporate growth. Our liability franchise is robust, and we estimate steady growth in CASA and retail term deposits.

What is the position of NPAs of the bank? How has it progressed last year?

The GNPA position as on March 31, 2021, was 9.23 per cent. We are maintaining a provision coverage of 74.20 per cent.

The position has deteriorated from the previous year due to a low advance base and recognition of NPAs, which were under moratorium following the Supreme Court order on March 23. If we include the ‘proforma’ NPAs, we were at 10.82 per cent as at the end of Q3.

Most of these are small ticket NPAs with good security coverage. Due to lockdown, our recovery efforts are constrained. We are hopeful of bringing this level below 9 per cent by end of this quarter. And there are no major fresh slippages expected.

What is the impact of Covid on the bank’s business? What plans are in place?

The growth has been muted whereas asset deterioration has steadily increased. The moratorium and its sudden lifting added to the woes.

We have instructed our operating offices to maintain all Covid protocols and safety precautions. We are tying up with two private hospitals to ensure that all staff take at least the first dose of vaccine.

When do you see the economy recovering? Also do you see interest rates going up soon?

Our hope is that things return to almost normal from the second quarter of this fnancial year and then the economy will bounce back with a growth in GDP of 8-9 per cent for the FY as per revised predictions. As for your question regarding the interest rates going up, we have reached the bottom. But with the liquidity overhang and the time lag in corporate demand picking up, the rates would be stable in the short term but will firm up by Q3.

Also read:Banks decide to extend unsecured personal loans for Covid treatment

How about NRI investments in your business? And are there any plans for merger with bigger banks?

We are not a big player in the NRI segment compared to other peer banks. In this current financial year, it will be one of our focus areas. And, no, we don’t have any plans for merger with other bigger banks.

Published on June 02, 2021

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