/PNB lowers recast target; expects only Rs 20,000 crore loan book to be restructured

PNB lowers recast target; expects only Rs 20,000 crore loan book to be restructured

New Delhi: Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Tuesday lowered the debt recast target by 50 per cent to Rs 20,000 crore as there was not enough demand for restructuring approved by RBI a couple of months ago. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has permitted one-time restructuring of corporate and personal loans to help entities amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“With respect to restructuring, surprisingly, as on today, if you look at, not many people have requested. In terms of retail and MSME together by September 30, we have undertaken restructuring to the extent of Rs 41 crore. As on today, another Rs 30 crore request has come with respect to retail and MSME.

“But MSME, we are expecting restructuring to happen to the extent of anything around Rs 4,000-5,000 crore before December 31,” PNB MD S S Mallikarjuna Rao said in a virtual interaction with the media.

As far as corporates are concerned, he said, the bank has received applications from 15 applicants amounting to Rs 2,022 crore.

It is very important to note that if the restructuring is undertaken in case of corporate accounts, their ratings will be under pressure for a period of two years, he said.

“That could be one of the reasons why the response has not been very high. If you remember, last time while declaring the results, we indicated roughly around Rs 40,000 crore could be the amount which may go under restructuring. However, now we look at the way the response is coming to us, it may not be even Rs 20,000 crore by December 31,” he said.

This would be less than 3 per cent of the total advances, he added.

In response to a query on the bank’s NPA outlook, Rao said he expects PNB’s non-performing assets (NPAs or bad loans) to be less than 14 per cent in gross terms while less than 5 per cent in net terms.

The lender’s gross non-performing assets (NPAs) moderated to 13.43 per cent of gross advances at the end of September from 16.76 per cent by the year-ago same period. Net NPAs too declined to 4.75 per cent as against 7.65 per cent.

With regard to service charge, he said, the bank has not increased it and there are no plans of raising it from the present level.

On the merger of Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India, Rao said business and HR integration has already taken place.

The merger of these two banks with PNB became effective from April 1.

As far as technology integration is concerned, he said, it is in progress. One bank will complete the technology integration by December 31 and another by January-end.

With the merger, the bank now has about 11,000 branches, more than 13,000 ATMs and 1.05 lakh employees.

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