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CONGRATS! Bandhan Bank’s Chandra Shekhar Ghosh gets ‘Banker of the Year’ Award

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Founder, managing director (MD), and chief executive officer (CEO) of Bandhan Bank, Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, gets the prestigious Business Standard Banker of the Year (2018-19) award, just four years after he turned his Kolkata-based microfinance institution into a scheduled commercial bank.

The high-profile jury was chaired by former Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor, S.S. Mundra. Other members were former State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, Vice Chairman and CEO of Housing Development Finance Corporation Keki Mistry, Ican Investment Advisors Chairman Anil Singhvi, and Saurabh Mukherjea, chief investment officer and founder of Marcellus Investment Managers. 

Ghosh, 59, got the coveted award for an impressive, all-round performance of the bank. The bank had the best ratios, and the highest return on assets (4.25 per cent) with a cost structure that is the lowest in the banking sector (cost to income ratio of 0.32). The filters used for judging included banks with the asset size of Rs 50,000 crore and above as of March 2019, and that there should have been growth in profit prior to provision in the past three years. Only 14 banks qualified for these parameters.

As the jury opined Bandhan Bank’s branches are frugal, but are successful with their ‘high-touch’ model. Most of Bandhan’s clients are repeat clients, but the loan book has grown 42 per cent on a three-year compound annual growth rate basis, even as deposits have grown 53 per cent in that period. The growth rate has benefited from a lower base, but the net non-performing assets (NPA) ratio was contained at 0.58 per cent. The gross NPA ratio was at 2.04 per cent at the end of 2018-19. Net interest margin (NIM) was at 8.96 per cent at the end of the financial year.

Ghosh was also appreciated for having deep knowledge about lending, having technology-focused lending operations, being a tough negotiator, and keeping the work force motivated on carrying on with banking that involved personal touch with the customers.