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It is with a great sense of satisfaction that we present to you our Annual Report for FY 2018-19.
Your Bank has been founded with a conscious mission to transform the lives of its customers by enabling them with access to banking and financial services, thereby furthering financial inclusion and last-mile delivery of banking services.
Despite being independent for the past seven decades, a large majority of the Indian populace lives under the pressure of financial coercion, which is mainly due to lack of proper access to the formal banking system. A key factor driving the growth of the nation is mobilisation of formal financial resources at the grassroots level. This is where your Bank is committed to make a difference, and also contribute to improving the lives of those who have no or limited access to banks.
Your Bank has built the reputation of being a responsible bank with a pan-India presence and multi-product delivery capability. However, our overarching ambition remains to enable financial literacy and financial liberation to low income borrowers and depositors in rural and semi-urban India. We maintain our strategic focus on customers who otherwise lack any access to the formal financial marketplace. In doing so, we also put our forces to work in the urban centres to draw deposits for retail customers.
Points of Differentiation
Empowering the unbanked and under banked, and thereby building the nation and contributing to its growth and development, has been and continues to be our raison d''etre. Not only are we conducting our routine operations but also simultaneously creating huge value for society. So far, through our microloans aimed at creating sustainable livelihood, we have catalysed the development of millions of entrepreneurs who, in turn, have generated more jobs by way of a ripple effect leading to inclusive and sustainable growth.
Further, it is our keen understanding of this set of customers and their financial requirements that helps us serve them better and also keep our delinquency levels low. Besides financial assistance, your Bank also participates in a number of development oriented programmes targeted at the not-so-privileged sections of the society. Through our implementation partners, we run programmes aimed at poverty alleviation, health improvement, employment generation and sanitation, among others.
The banking industry was at a crossroads during the year 2018-19. While it continued to support India''s economic growth, it also grappled with challenges that tested its strength and resilience.
The fag-end of the year witnessed some stability seeping into India''s banking industry. The central bank''s cutting of rates during its policy meetings also injected liquidity in the system. Additional capital infusion is also likely to help in meeting minimum capital norms.
Private Banks built their assets and increasingly focussed on the liability franchise too. Further, prudent expansion and focus, coupled with better products and interest rates, aided private sector banks and helped them gain market share across geographies. They also reported robust growth in credit in urban and rural markets, as against overall industry growth.
Connecting to Society
Even as the banking sector performed well, rural India has clearly been the missing piece in India''s banking landscape. There is a definite need for banking services to be expanded in India''s hinterlands to include those who are economically weaker and do not come under the purview of the formal financial marketplace. At Bandhan Bank, we continue our commitment to develop and provide sustainable and scalable banking and financial solutions to millions of unbanked people.
Your Bank''s principle of work underpins how we create a wide-scale impact on the broad stakeholders of society - country, local communities and people (customers and employees alike). Our key mission is to touch the lives of our customers who belong to the underserved households by providing them the required access to banking and financial services and resulting in their inclusive growth.
Through our services in general banking as well as micro banking, we encourage people to gain confidence and enjoy better customer service. We empower them to take control of their own economic destiny. Our objective is simple - reaching out to more and more customers at the bottom of the pyramid while driving low-cost deposits from all centres; and in doing so, never compromising on the quality of business.
And as we remain poised to achieve this, we are strategically improving our reach to an increased population of India. By catering to all the segments - microcredit, banking, affordable housing and MSME credit - we continue our journey towards being a bank for all.
Moving forward, your Bank will look to expand, growing its portfolio of products, and prudently expanding geographic reach to create greater market impact. Our diversified teams and a well-entrenched distribution network, keeps us poised to meet our customers'' aspirations, and that of other stakeholders. This, along with an experienced and capable management, enables us to grow at a healthy pace.
Finally, I would like to mention that it has been a real privilege for me to serve you all as your Bank''s Chairman. I remain confident that the Board, and all the 32,000 plus employees will continue to work with dedication.
In doing all that we do, your Bank will never deter from its core belief-Aapka Bhala, Sabki Bhalai.
Dr. Anup Kumar Sinha