SBI says MSME loans will be focal point for growth over next 5 yrs

MUMBAI, June 11: SBI, the country’s largest lender, on Tuesday said small business lending will be the “focal point” for growth and profit for the next five years.

The state-owned lender launched a product christened “SME (small and medium enterprises) Digital Business Loans”, under which loans will be sanctioned in 45 minutes.

“MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) advances have been identified as the focal point for the bank’s growth and profitability over the next five years,” an official statement said.

The bank is aiming to broaden credit accessibility for small businesses in the coming months by extending availability across all partner customer service point touchpoints and via QR codes at outdoor touchpoints in the coming months, the statement said.

For the year ended on March 31, 2024, the bank’s overall SME book grew by over 20 per cent to Rs 4.33 lakh crore and gross non performing assets in the book came down to 3.75 per cent from a peak of 9.43 per cent in FY20.

The newly launched product was termed as “a significant leap forward” in digitalisation by offering SMEs a digital loan journey with an end-to-end sanction turnaround time of up to 45 minutes.

“By leveraging the rich data footprint of MSME units in the ecosystem, we aim to provide the fastest and most intuitive lending process, further solidifying our position as the leading MSME lender in the country,” the bank’s chairman Dinesh Khara said.

The newly launched proposition eliminates the need for traditional credit underwriting and lengthy appraisal processes, the bank statement said, adding that it offers simplicity, speed, and accessibility in MSME lending.

The new platform relies on data footprints from sources such as ITR, GST returns, and bank statements, the statement said, adding, the bank has developed a data-driven credit assessment engine capable of providing sanction decisions within 10 seconds after submitting the required details.

For loans up to Rs 50 lakh, SBI has waived the requirement for financial statements, relying instead on transaction history and GST returns for appraisal, it said.

SBI’s managing director for retail banking and operations Vinay Tonse said the bank is offering a unique proposition to both new and existing MSME relationships, ensuring in principle sanction within 45 minutes. (PTI)