‘PSBs pip private banks in retail credit inquiries’

State-run lenders are seeing faster pick up in retail credit inquiries than their private counterparts on quicker reopening of branch network, a report by a credit information company (CIC) said.

Despite inroads made by digital alternatives, through which lenders are receiving inquiries and even disbursing loans online, branch offices continue to play an important role, Transunion Cibil said in the report.

The lenders get in touch with CICs while doing diligence on every credit proposal, which triggers inquiries. It can be noted that many analysts have said that a large share of the incremental credit demand is coming from the more aggressive private sector lenders who also have larger capital buffers.

“Public (sector) lenders saw the biggest rebound in inquiries in July and August 2020, most likely because they were early in recommencing operations than their private and NBFC (non-bank finance companies) counterparts,” the report by Cibil said.

Inquiries from over a dozen state-run lenders for the two months were at 102% of the same observed in January-February this year and 118% of that in the same period a year ago, it said.

The same numbers for the private lenders were at 70% and 78%, respectively, while for NBFCs and housing finance companies, inquiries were much lower at 51% of the pre-COVID-19 period in January-February and 57% of the levels in July-August last year.

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