Business & Finance

Recovery period for PNB

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Punjab National Bank otherwise known as the PNB which was in news of late after being hit by a $2-billion fraud involving jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi is on its path to recovery as it is targeting a decent 10.8% rise in business for the current fiscal to Rs 12 lakh crore, the bank said on Tuesday. Addressing a conference organized by PNB, Niti Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant has ruled out any kind of privatization of public-sector banks at this juncture.

The previous month, in a letter to his staff, PNB managing director Sunil Mehta had said that in spite of the scam, the bank had recorded a total business of around Rs 11 lakh crore in FY18. Of this, domestic business accounted for as much as Rs 10 lakh crore, with a 7.9% jump from a year before. PNB’s domestic business had touched Rs 9.35 trillion in FY17, having registered a 9.6% growth from a year earlier.

Recently, Mehta had been reported to say that the bank would not approach the government for fresh capital to cover fraud losses and it had sufficient capability to bear the entire burden of the fraud. The bank is rationalizing its operations for overseas and domestic transactions and will focus more on profitable ventures.

PNB has crossed 100 million customers for the first time, the bank said before the scandal hit it. They were forced to pay for fraudulent bank guarantees issued to firms of Nirav Modi and Choksi. “It continues to leverage the power of 5Cs i.e., one of the highest CASA share, stable credit quality, robust credit growth, adequate capital and low cost to income ratio,” the company said.

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