RBI’s March 2019 Divergence Report increased Central Bank’s Slippages: Pallav Mohapatra, MD & CEO

Pallav Mohapatra, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Central bank, talks about the third-quarter results of the bank, PCA list and recoveries among others during a chat with Anurag Shah, Zee Business. Edited Excerpts:

This is the third quarter when the Central Bank of India has posted good results. Let us know about the strategy and the changes?
We have focused on the ways to expand our loan book in retail, agriculture and MSME. Gross disbursement has been done by the bank, however, there is a de-growth because the repayment is stuck, we get good interest income from it.

Secondly, our liquidity coverage ratio is very strong. Previously, most investments were done overnight which used to result in lesser yield. Later, we started analyzing where to invest for a better yield on a daily basis. The churning of the portfolio is based on acquiring “trading” profits. There have been some great recoveries in return of accounts, which had its contribution to our incomes, which has increased. Increase in CASA – a strong franchise of the bank – has reduced our cost of deposit of the bank, which has increased our NIM by 2.92%.

How much recovery was made in the December quarter and what amount can be recovered in the March quarter? Also, let us know about the slippages that the bank has seen in this quarter? 
The recovery done this quarter are:

a) NPA account: Rs 1,273 Crore.
b) Return of accounts: Rs 520 Crore.

However, the slippages in this quarter stood at Rs 3,998 Crore and it was a result of RBI’s March 31, 2019 divergence report, which led to downgrading those accounts in this quarter. This had an impact on our slippages.

Do you believe that you will be able to pull out your bank from the PCA list by end of this financial year?
The bank is trying its best. We have been able to get out of three parameters of the four. Only, the net NPA that should be below 6% is a bit problematic but they are continuously working to bring it below 6% to ensure that we get out of the PCA list.

What are your plans related to retail growth? Also, update us on your talk related to the inclusion of new technological innovations in the bank?
Three things are there and they are (i) change in the process, (ii) change in the product and (iii) we look forward towards the ways to use the technology to mitigate our turn-around time and risk. That’s why we are rationalizing the product as well as the process (manually). When it comes to technology then the talks are on with Syntax to make sure that the best in class technology that is available in the market, so that we can lend maximum loan in the MSME and retail segments as it will provide a good yield to us and reduce the stress on the bank.

Can you provide the number of non-core assets which were sold by the bank in December quarter? 
The bank hasn’t sold any non-core assets in the third quarter but may sell some immovable properties in Q4.

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