In what is likely the biggest push to increase market share in home loans since its teaser rates a decade ago, the biggest lender of the country has waived...
off processing fees for all home loans and will deploy 7,500 specialised ‘feet on street.'
street’ to market its home loans over and above the thousands who already do so at its branches.
“We expect that in this festive season our volumes will increase substantially, we have already brought down our interest rate which is the lowest in the industry and now we have also waived the processing fee,” said Vaijinath MG, chief general manager, State Bank of India. “We have an exclusive offer for loans up to `30 lakh where interest rate is 8.35%. We are also offering top-up loan where where rates are comparable to our home loan interest rate and we have waived processing fee on that as well.”
Banks which are facing the heat of slow loans offtake due to poor private investments are piling on the opportunity in secured lending – home loans where the defaults have been minimal so far. With loans to industry contracting to 0.3%, retail loans are growing by 15%. SBI has also launched a new scheme campaign ‘Hamara Ghar’ (Our Home) that caters to the affordable housing segment. The loan carries a fixed rate of interest for two years up to a loan amount of Rs 30 lakh The bank posted a growth of 13.92% in its home loan book at the end of June 2017. SBIs housing loan book now stands at `2.8 lakh crore. Its overall retail book had grown by 13.31% last quarter. The bank had also reported home loan NPA ratio at 1.27%, against its overall bad loans at 9.97%. The state-run lender, which recently completed the merger of five of its associate banks, is also a staff surplus bank now. The surplus is facilitating the bank to redeploy a lot of manpower to market its home loans and provide door-to-door services. The bank now has a network of over 24,000 branches through which it is also aggressively marketing its mortgage loan products.
“The additional employees available to us post-merger are being deployed in sales,” Vaijinath said. “Now we are providing providing door delivery as well. So other than the 5,000 direct selling agents who work for us on commission, in-house we have 2,500 people deployed exclusively for marketing home loans.”
While reporting earnings in August, chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya had admitted to the mess the merger has created and had expressed confidence that the bank would bounce back. During this first quarter due to the merger exercise, the kind of followup we need to do on the retail side that went missing,’’ Bhattacharya had said. “We were aware that this was going to happen since we didn’t have the data for follow up. This is an area we believe we can pull back.”
The bank also recently launched ‘SBI Realty’ an integrated website which hosts over 3,000 SBI-approved realty projects across the country. Currently, nearly 10 home units are available on the website.