The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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United Bank to cash in on CAS

Calcutta, Aug. 2: United Bank of India (UBI), the city-based bank which has recently turned around, has decided to cash in on the conditional access system (CAS).

The bank has taken a decision to finance set-top boxes and has tied up with Siticable to provide financial assistance to its customers once CAS becomes effective from September 1.

This is part of the city-based bank’s strategy to achieve Rs 2,000 crore credit offtake in this financial year.

With the overall credit offtake in the first three months of the current fiscal not showing substantial growth, the bank has undertaken a three-pronged strategy to boost credit offtake.

Apart from financing set-top boxes, the chairman has delegated more powers to branch managers, reduced the prime lending rate and brought in changes in the administrative structure.

Madhukar, chairman and managing director of the bank said, “Credit offtake in the banking sector in the first quarter has not shown impressive growth. We are taking steps to enhance it. The monsoon has been good also which may impact the credit growth.”

Commenting about the bank’s tieup with Siticable he said, “The amount involved is not high. The set-top boxes cost Rs 3,000-Rs 4,000. We will charge the customer an interest of 12 per cent and the loan will be repayable in 36 months.”

UBI, the first bank in the country to come up with the idea of set-top box financing, has also worked out a mechanism with Siticable so that these loans do not turn out to be non-performing assets.

If any customer does not pay in time then the Siticable management will disconnect the cable line.

“Our assets are therefore completely secured,” said Madhukar.

The financing facility will be available to Siticable’s viewers in Calcutta, Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. “There are 6 million viewers in these four metros and we expect to reach out to at least 30 per cent of them,” Madhukar said.

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