India’s Microfinance Industry Clocks 60% Growth In 2015-16: Report

India's microfinance industry is beginning to see benefits of scale with reduced interest for borrowers.
India’s microfinance industry is beginning to see benefits of scale with reduced interest for borrowers.
New Delhi: India’s microfinance industry was pegged at Rs. 63,853 crore in 2015-16, posting a year-on-year growth of 60 per cent, said a report.

The high growth rate continues despite Bandhan becoming a bank, according to Sa-Dhan’s Bharat Microfinance Report-2016 released on Wednesday.

“While as of March 2016, the total loan portfolio of MFIs has reached an all-time high of over Rs. 63,853 crore clocking 31 per cent growth, but if Bandhan’s loan portfolio of Rs. 9,524 crore of 2014-15 is taken out the actual growth rate of the sector between 2014-15 to 2015-16 is over 60 per cent,” the
report said.

It further said that the industry is beginning to see benefits of scale with reduced interest for borrowers.

The top 10 NBFC-MFIs contributing 80 per cent of the sector’s gross loan portfolio or over Rs. 40,000 crore have a weighted average interest rate of 23.13 per cent, far below the 26 per cent max cap under PSL guidelines.

According to the report, over 36 NBFC-MFI members have reduced rates significantly in the last financial year itself.

The sector witnessed a “healthy growth” in client base with over 28 lakhs new members taking the total number of client to over 3.99 crore. But the average loan per borrower of Rs. 11,425 is less than last year’s Rs. 13,162, it added.

P Satish, executive director of Sa-Dhan, said that despite Bandhan – which was the largest micro financial institution – going out of microfinance space, the sector witnessed a strong growth.

“Attaining over 28 lakhs clients is no mean feat. This goes on to show that the microfinance industry, having reached its inflection point, is growing steadfastly,” he said.

As per the report, the year saw a huge growth in the business correspondents (BC) model.

With the Reserve Bank of India allowing NBFC-MFIs to act as business correspondents, the managed portfolio has substantially increased. The business correspondents portfolio constituted 13 per cent of total portfolio and 47 per cent of the managed portfolio of MFIs. The business correspondents portfolio amounts to Rs. 7,894 crores.

Vivek Tiwari, COO of Satin Creditcare Network Limited (SCNL), said that the MFI sector had recently crossed a 60,000 crore portfolio with an outreach of almost 30 million households.

[“source-ndtv”]