Tuesday, August 5, 2008

StanChart will soon review its BPLR

A top bank official of Standard Chartered Bank informed that soon bank might be reviewing its benchmark prime lending rates (BPLR).

Earlier in late July the private lender had increased its BPLR by 1.25 per cent to 14.25 per cent. Standard Chartered Bank India Head Neeraj Swaroop told reporters that bank might review its BPLR in view of the changed environment.

Following the Reserve Bank hiking its key rates earlier this week in the last two to three days host of banks have raised their lending rates.

Swaroop further added that apex bank might go for further monetary tightening in the coming months due to the prevailing high inflation rate, which currently stands at 11.98 per cent. Swaroop added StanChart’s lending portfolio being very small, the bank has not seen any delinquencies in the corporate segment. However in consumer finance, bad loans have increased marginally.

Possibilities of impact of higher interest rates on small and medium enterprises are being seen.

Swaroop added due to high interest rates, SMEs can face pressures as they don't have a unique business model.

Giving his views on the consolidation of the Indian banking industry the StanChart official said that consolidation in the domestic banking sector should be done both within the public sector segment as well as between public and private sector banks.

Commenting on takeover of a domestic bank by a foreign one, Swaroop said, a takeover by a foreign bank is just change of ownership and it will not contribute much to the consolidation process in the system.

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