New Delhi: In a major relief to auto-loan seekers, the country’s second largest private sector lender ,HDFC Bank, has decided to slash interest rates on personal and commercial vehicles by up to 150 basis points from Monday.
In addition, the bank will also cut interest rates on corporate loans and wholesale credit, a move that will benefit small and medium enterprises and large companies.
Car and commercial vehicle loans will become cheaper by 125 basis points, while interest on two-wheeler loans will be reduced by 150 basis points, HDFC Bank Head (Retail assets and credit cards) Pralay Mondal told said.
At the same time, the bank will reduce interest rate on personal loan by 75-100 basis points, from existing 17-17.5%.
“We have been able to pass on such a massive reduction to customer as cost of fund has eased and it is slated to come down further in the coming months,” he said.
The bank is doing it as a pre-emptive measure, which will give a fillip to the slackening auto sales in particular and the SME and manufacturing sector in general, he added.
The auto sector has been under the tight grip of slowdown for the past two months. In December, the overall domestic auto sales declined 18.2% as commercial vehicles and two-wheeler sales crashed heavily.
Across the board massive rate cut by the bank comes in less than 20 days of reduction in its prime lending rate by half a percentage point.
The bank, which is the largest financier of retail loan, currently offers car loan at 13.5-14%, commercial vehicle loans at 14.5-15%, while credit for two wheelers attracts interest rate at 24-24.5%.
In addition to this, HDFC Bank will slash rates on loan against properties and securities by as much as 200 basis points.
Mondal said, the interest rate on loans against properties will come down sharply by 150-200 basis points, while for credit against securities the cut would be 1%.
The exiting rates for such credit varies between 13.75% and 15.25%.
However, the bank provides retail loan to its existing account holders at a discount, which varies between 50 and 100 basis points on the card rate. The concession depends on credit profile of the customers.
Last week, the bank’s promoter HDFC Ltd introduced a special housing loan scheme offering 9.75% for new loans up to Rs30 lakh.
Prior to the special offer, HDFC was charging 10.25% for loans up to Rs20 lakh and 11.25% for bigger loans. The bank distributes home loan products of its promoter.
It is to be noted that HDFC Bank in December 2008 reduced deposit rate in the range of 50 to 225 basis points, across various maturities.
The fixed deposit rates have been reduced across four maturities and the peak deposit rate of the bank has come down to about 10%.
Aiming at propping-up demand, the government and the RBI have taken several measures to bring down interest rates.
As part of its policy, the government has allowed public sector banks to provide line of credit to NBFCs on new purchases, in order to boost demand.