By Ankur Mishra
Centrum Financial Services and BharatPe, will collectively infuse anywhere between Rs 500-3,000 crore capital in the small finance bank (SFB) as per requirement, according to BharatPe group president Suhail Sameer. In an interaction with FE, he said both the partners have agreed to put an equal amount in the bank which will start with Rs 500 crore capital. He also said a final call on PMC Bank depositors will be taken after the amalgamation scheme is prepared by the regulator.
“One thing was clear in our discussion with RBI that interest of depositors is supreme,” Sameer said. According to him the new owners want to allow PMC depositors to withdraw as much as possible from the bank. “We do not know how much amount existing PMC Bank depositors will be able to withdraw, but we want to allow them withdrawing as much as possible,” he further said.
Without sharing details of exact asset-liability mismatch in PMC Bank, Sameer said they have a plan in mind to tackle the same, which is yet to be approved by the regulator.
In the next 3-4 months, the focus for Centrum-BharatPe will be to make small finance bank (SFB) operational, after Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted in principle approval to set up SFB on Friday. Under Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act one can only prepare a merger scheme between two banks and, therefore, the process will start only once SFB is set up. BharatPe expects to extend its existing relationship with its merchants by offering them savings and current accounts, along with banking and credit services.
“Initially high interest rates on deposits will be our pull factor, but overall we want to offer convenience to our customers,” Sameer said. With the kind of reach BharatPe has, mobilising deposits should not be an issue for our bank, he added.
BharatPe facilitates over Rs 200 crore of loans to its merchant partners every month through its NBFC partners. The company has deployed more than 50,000 point of sales (PoS) machines and enables transactions of more than Rs 900 crore per month on PoS machines. BharatPe has presence in 75 cities in the country.