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Last Updated : Mar 16, 2019 08:46 PM IST | Source:

Banking wrap: Lenders optimistic on recoveries from Jet Airways, Essar steel debt; SBI app hopes to replace debit cards

As the financial year-end nears, the country’s top lenders are hopeful to see progress soon from two major worrisome accounts—Jet Airways and Essar Steel.

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As the financial year-end nears, the country’s top lenders are hopeful to see progress made soon on the health of two major worrisome accounts—Jet Airways and Essar Steel.

On March 15, a top State Bank of India official, who declined to be identified, said that a comprehensive plan is being worked out, and is likely to be finalized within a week. The official also said that the lenders wish to keep the airline operational.

"It is by desire that this airline keeps running, that is the fundamental difference between this and other NPA accounts," the official said. "We are hopeful to have a resolution in one week."

Jet Airways has debts adding to over Rs 8,000 crore, of which it needs to repay Rs 1,700 crore by the end of March. It has already defaulted twice on its repayments and almost half of its fleet has been grounded due to the non-payment of its debt to lessors, and a want for spare parts.

On the Essar steel debt resolution case, the final decision and recoveries from the account are likely by the end of the month, the Punjab National Bank (PNB) said.

“Decisions on Essar Steel have been taken decisively. Hope to resolve it by March 31,” said Sunil Mehta, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, PNB.

Dinabandhu Mohapatra, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Bank of India (BOI) said the lender is “quite hopeful” of recovery in Essar Steel. He expects a writeback of more than Rs 1,800 crore from the account.

“We are expecting big recoveries. Our provision coverage ratio is among the highest in the industry at 76.7 percent and in some cases we have made 100 percent provisions and we are hopeful to write back directly to our profit,” Mohapatra told reporters today.

SBI plans to replace debit cards with mobile app


SBI introduced a new feature on its mobile application "Yono" that enables cash withdrawals from ATMs without the use of cards.

Customers need a self-generated six-digit PIN and a transaction reference PIN received via SMS to withdraw cash using the feature called "Yono Cash" from SBI's mobile application. This two-factor authentication will secure the customer's transaction.

SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said that the bank wants to eliminate the use of cards in the long run. This, however, depends on how well Yono Cash performs.

The facility will only be available on SBI ATMs and point of sale (PoS) terminals. However, the lender has the country's largest network with over 58,000 ATMs and close to 6 lakh PoS terminals deployed across the country. As of now, the feature is only available at SBI's 16,500 ATMs, which will be extended to rest of these SBI ATMs in a phased manner.

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First Published on Mar 16, 2019 07:45 pm
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