Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

ICICI Bank plans to double lending to women self help groups

The bank has already lent `1,000 crore to such groups in the last two-and-a-half years reaching out to a million women

Mumbai: ICICI Bank Ltd, India’s largest private sector bank by assets, will double lending to women self help groups in the next one year as part of its rural banking programme, managing director and chief executive officer (MD and CEO) Chanda Kochhar said on Saturday.

The bank has already lent 1,000 crore to such groups in the last two-and-a-half years reaching out to a million women who borrow money in groups of 10 to 20 people to start small businesses such as jewellery making, handicrafts or cattle rearing.

“We neither classify this as a business nor a social activity and we have not really tracked the profitability of this business so far," Kochhar said.

These loans are typically of an average size of 1.5 lakh with 14% interest per annum and monthly instalments payable in one to three years.

ICICI adds 5,000 such groups to this programme in a month and is lending in seven states: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. It plans to start lending in West Bengal, Odisha and Chhattisgarh in the next few months.

More than half of its 3,620 branches are in the rural and semi-urban areas and 440 branches are in areas which did not have any banking activity, the bank said in a press release.

Close