Public lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) posted a reduced standalone net loss of Rs 697 crore on Friday, for the quarter ending March (Q4FY20) compared to a net loss of Rs 4,750 crore for the corresponding period last year.

India’s second-largest bank said the improvement was on account of a substantial decrease in provisioning requirements. It had reported a loss of Rs 492.28 crore for the December quarter.

However, the bank saw its profits decline 37.3 per cent in FY20 to Rs 14,739 crore when compared to the previous fiscal.

In terms of provisions, PNB put Rs 4,518 crore towards bad loans in Q4FY20, nearly half of the Rs 9,153 crore it had made in the March quarter of FY19.

PNB’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 14.14 per cent compared to 9.73 per cent on year, while the two other banks being merged with it, United Bank of India and the Oriental Bank of Commerce, were also adequately funded, PNB chief Mallikarjuna Rao said during a press conference on Saturday.

According to Rao, only 30 per cent of borrowers had availed the Reserve Bank of India’s loan moratorium. The bank had also sanctioned Rs 3,200 crore under the government’s 100 per cent credit guarantee scheme, Rao added.

While its net interest income rose 11.4 per cent to Rs 4,678 crore in the March quarter on year, its provisioning coverage ratio, the amount set aside to cover bad loans, increased to 77.79 per cent compared to 74.5 per cent in Q4FY19.

The bank had expected to achieve 12 per cent growth in the current fiscal, according to Rao, but that figure would have to be revisited considering the expanding impact of the pandemic on the economy.



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