UCO Bank is planning to sell some of its stressed assets as part of its efforts to improve the asset quality.
“We are looking to sell Rs 280 crore of stressed assets. Within the next 10-15 days, we should be able to finalise one deal. We will sell more of these stressed assets so that we can reduce the portfolio,” said Mr Arun Kaul, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank.
The bank will look to sell at least one more tranche in the near future, he said.
“The NPAs are slightly on the higher side. Slippages are very large. For six months, slippages are nearly Rs 1,100 crore. Gross NPAs have gone above 2.3 per cent as on September-end. So we are making a lot of efforts to improve the quality of assets”, said Mr Kaul.
He said the bank is targeting to bring down gross NPAs below 2 per cent this fiscal.
In the second quarter, a large amount of the NPAs have come from the agriculture waiver and debt relief scheme. Over the next two quarters, there is unlikely to be any abnormal slippages, Mr Kaul said.
The bank has created a separate recovery vertical that will focus purely on recovery of bad loans.
“Ordinary branches have so many other functions that have to be done. So this function gets diluted. We have created separate 5-6 stressed asset branches which will focus on recovery of bad loans. These branches will report directly to the head office, thereby ensuring quick decisions are taken,” said Mr Kaul.
These branches will handle large NPA accounts for above Rs 1 crore or so. Besides the separate branches, the bank is also planning to set up recovery camps, lok adalats and engaging recovery agents. The bank has set an internal target of Rs 1,300-1,400 crore for recovery from bad loans.
UCO Bank is also setting up specialised branches for disbursing credit to large corporates to ensure that these do not become bad loans due to bad underwriting.
“NPA creation is partly due to the skill sets available in banks. So we are creating specialised branch known as flagship corporate credit known for large corporate credit”, he said. While for the retail segment, the bank is setting up the central processing units, for more efficient monitoring.