India: Development Credit Bank foraying into microfinance

Jul 2007
India, July, 11 2007 - India’s Development Credit Bank will be expanding their services to include microfinance, in addition to increasing its focus on the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector lending.

“We want to venture into small credit and mid-ticket personal finance while continuing to serve the big customers,” Mr Gautam Vir, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, DCB, told presspersons after formally launching ‘X-Gen Banking’ a product tailor-made to cater to the needs of the student community here on Wednesday.

The bank is in the process of opening an exclusive branch for microfinance in Gujarat and will provide microfinance in over 1,000 villages covered under Aga Khan Rural Support Programme.

“In Maharashtra, we will be launching urban microfinance,” Mr Vir said, adding that the microfinance sector in Andhra Pradesh was highly competitive. The bank also plans to double its SME lending from the current 30 per cent of its corporate lending to 70 per cent over the next one year besides achieving 50:50 of retail and corporate lending. Seeing considerable opportunity in the student segment the bank unveiled ‘X-Gen Banking’ here.

“We will soon extend to some select cities but Hyderabad will serve as a testing ground for the product,” he said.

With a zero-balance account in the name of the student, the X-Gen can be opened by parents by taking a minimum term deposit of Rs 30,000 for one year. “In other aspects, the account is like an ordinary account. The student would be given a free international debit card, cheque book, Internet and mobile banking facilities,” he explained.

The X-Gen card would also offer discounts at various strategic outlets such as bookstores, restaurants, entertainment joints, gyms and vocational courses.

“We will talk to the schools and colleges to promote the product. Our target is to mobilise at least 10,000 deposits (which lead to opening of X-Gen accounts) by the end of the current quarter,” Mr Vir added.


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