The Telegraph
Wednesday , April 23 , 2014
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Uco sets higher target

Jai Kumar Garg in Calcutta on Tuesday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury

Calcutta, April 22: Public sector lender Uco Bank is eyeing a 20-22 per cent growth in deposits and advances in 2014-15. The Calcutta-based bank said it had been able to improve its asset quality and stabilise its non-performing assets (NPA) in the final quarter of 2013-14.

“In 2013-14 (April-March), the growth in our advances was higher than the industry average. Our credit growth was around 17 per cent, while our deposits were up 16 per cent. This year we expect a 20-22 per cent growth in our deposits and advances,” said Jai Kumar Garg, executive director at Uco Bank, on the sidelines of the launch of the bank’s vigilance manual today.

Credit growth of the banking system has seen moderation over the years, particularly on account of the weak macroeconomic environment. Sectoral flow of credit has also taken a hit on account of the negative investment sentiment. Data available with the Reserve Bank show that gross bank credit as on February 21, 2014 grew 14.4 per cent year-on-year. It was 15.4 per cent in the same period a year ago.

Garg said during the fourth quarter the bank witnessed an improvement in its loan recovery and instances of upgradation of NPA.

“The NPA issue has stabilised and going forward we expect improvement in our asset quality,” he added.

Gross NPA ratio of Uco Bank had declined 33 basis points to 5.20 per cent, while net NPA ratio fell 26 basis points to 3.06 per cent at the end of the December quarter.

Meanwhile, chief vigilance officer Hargovind Sachdev said the number of vigilance cases in the bank had declined from 282 to 126 over the last year and was set to decline further with the incorporation of an improved vigilance manual by the bank.