Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint
Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

Bandhan Bank in talks with Ola to offer loans to drivers

Bandhan Bank chairman Chandra Sekhar Ghosh says slightly higher interest rate is not a concern as customers want fast access to credit

Kolkata: Bandhan Bank on Tuesday said it is in talks with cab aggregator Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) to offer car loans to drivers who want to join the taxi-hailing service’s network.

The bank’s chairman-cum-managing director Chandra Sekhar Ghosh said it is in initial discussions with Ola for a tie-up to offer lending facilities for people looking at enrolling with the cab aggregator.

The bank has offered similar vehicle loans to individuals in West Bengal who have partnered with companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. “These are individual customers," Ghosh said.

However, the interest on the loans will be slightly higher than the existing rates. “Interest rate is not a concern. Customers want fast access to credit," he added.

Bandhan Bank expects its credit portfolio to rise to 14,500 crore by the end of March from 13,500 crore now. Micro loans, which have been Bandhan’s core business before it converted into a bank, still accounts for around 99% of its lending.

Ghosh expects 30-40% credit growth in the next fiscal.

The bank has introduced Visa International debit card facilities for customers with savings deposits of 25,000 and above. The bank currently has a total of 8.2 million customers. In the past five months, it has opened 800,000 new accounts. That is expected to touch the one million-mark by the end of this fiscal. Bandhan’s deposits currently stood at 7,500 crore.