Responding to shareholders’ queries on the rise in non-performing assets (NPAs), Ghosh said that the increase was on account of loan to an infrastructure company, referring to the bank’s exposure to IL&FS. The bank had already made a provision of Rs 385 crore last year on that account.
The gross NPAs of the bank at the end of the fourth quarter (Q4) of the financial year 2018-19 (FY19) stood at 2.04 per cent, against 1.25 per cent in the same quarter a year ago.
Later, on the sidelines of the AGM, Ghosh said the bank would like to grow cautiously in the near term and stay away from big corporate loans.
“Drastic growth will not be sustainable. We would like to grow carefully,” said Ghosh.
In January, Bandhan Bank
announced its merger with Gruh Finance, which reduced the promoters’ stake to 61 per cent, from 82.3 per cent earlier.
In September 2018, the central bank stopped any increase in Ghosh’s salary and also withdrew the bank’s right to open new branch on its own.
The bank is required to seek permission from the RBI to open any new branch. This was a penalty for not reducing its stake till the deadline of August 23, 2018.
The RBI says promoter stake in the new private banks
should not exceed 40 per cent.
Bandhan Bank has reported a 67.7 per cent jump in Q4FY19 net profit at Rs 651 crore, against Rs 388 crore in the same period last year.