ESAF Small Finance Bank to open 60th branch on Wednesday

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ESAF Small Finance Bank is opening its 60th branch at Andheri (East) in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The erstwhile microfinance lender, which converted itself into a small finance bank following the receipt of RBI’s licence, had begun its operations in March this year.

Announcing the launch of its Mumbai operations, K Paul Thomas, MD & CEO, said the bank, which currently has 56 branches in Kerala and 3 in Tamil Nadu, will expand the same to about 145 branches by the fiscal end.

It had garnered Rs 1,043 crore from 18.43 lakh depositors by September-end and lent Rs 2,934 crore to about 12.62 lakh borrowers in the same period.

Currently, 98 per cent of the loans are micro finance loans. But the bank has started expanding into other areas, including housing finance, gold loans, and SME loans, with a limit of Rs 10 lakh per loan. This will increase to Rs 25 lakh (the ceiling prescribed for small finance bank lending) in the next quarter, Thomas said.

The bank expects to get a ‘scheduled bank’ status in a couple of months, which is expected to give it access to inter-bank borrowing market and help the reduce cost of funds by about 1 percentage point.