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United Bank to launch debit card in January

Calcutta, Nov. 24: United Bank of India (UBI) is all set to launch its debit card in January.

“We are in talks with Visa for our debit card. The cards will be issued to all our savings account holders,” UBI chairman Madhukar said today.

A debit card gives the customer a lot of freedom. He does not need to carry cash or cheques. When he uses a debit card, the money gets deducted from the savings account. While a credit card is a way to ‘pay later’, a debit card is a way to ‘pay now’.

The bank has made full provisions for income tax. It set aside a higher amount for this even in the first half, when its net profit after tax was Rs 155 crore against Rs 131 crore last year. “About 58 per cent of our non-performing asset is backed by provisions,” said Madhukar.

The bank’s operating profit has increased to Rs 276 crore in the first half of this year from Rs 192 crore in the corresponding previous period. Till September, the gross non-performing assets of the bank was Rs 971 crore against Rs 1,195 crore in the corresponding previous period.

The bank’s net NPA has come down to Rs 410 crore from Rs 513 crore in the previous year. “We have made a cash recovery of Rs 40 crore in the first half,” he said.

UBI’s total interest income has come down to Rs 1,028 crore from Rs 1,053 crore in the previous year. The other income of the bank has shot up to Rs 191 crore from Rs 131 crore. “We have been able to maintain a net interest margin of 3.78 per cent despite yields going down,” Madhukar said.

The bank has been able to maintain an yield on investment of 9.72 per cent. Its capital adequacy ratio in the first half is hovering around 16.34 per cent.

The bank plans to give advances of Rs 2,000 crore in the current fiscal. In the first half, the deposit increased to Rs 21,663 crore as against Rs 20,704 crore in the previous year.

The board has given approval to open 18 new branches — mostly in the North-east and upgrade seven more branches.

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