Access to financial services
By extending access to finance and providing finance responsibly, we’re contributing to sustainable economic growth in our markets. Consistent with our commitment to promote social and economic development across our markets, we continue to extend access to financial services and support lending to the clean technology sector. Providing funds across borders and currencies facilitates trade and cross-border investment and is a core part of our service.
We provide our Commercial Banking clients, (predominately local entrepreneurs and mid-sized companies), and Business Banking clients (represented by small businesses) with the financial services required to grow their businesses. In 2015, in India, our lending to Commercial Banking clients and Business Banking clients comprised a book of $1.74 billion; of which $42 million was lent to small business segment within Business Banking and $1.7 billion to medium enterprise segment within Commercial Banking.
Globally, we are connected to mobile wallets in 7 new markets, totalling 11 markets. A mobile wallet is a service that enables clients to make and receive payments to and from both banked and unbanked individuals. In India, the Bank continues to enhance coverage for our clients to give them opportunities to reach out to areas as they expand into the surrounding areas. Our partner bank tie-ups cover the length and breadth of the country to facilitate the movement of money. Furthermore, our partnerships with authorised payment partners enable us to provide enhanced coverage supported by varied means of disbursements and collections. We continue to work on solutions to enable the flow of money into and from across sections of society through our initiatives around cardless cash withdrawals and Person2Aadhaar payments through IMPS (Immediate Payment Services). With the continued emergence of wallets, the Bank also has a global platform to integrate with wallet providers offering last mile connectivity solutions to support the inclusion objectives of our clients.
As one of the world’s leading trade banks, we use our global network to help our clients invest and grow their businesses across borders.
In India, from 2013 to 2015, we increased revenue across the following corridors: 28 per cent increase in India- Bangladesh flows, 4 per cent increase in India-China flows. To stay competitive in the global marketplace, several Indian corporates are expanding to network geographies; we continue to remain focused on supporting them in our footprint markets. Consequently, corridors like India-Africa, India-Middle East, India- ASEAN are gaining great momentum for trade finance. We help clients in India prosper by providing continuous support on inbound trade flowing from global subsidiaries from Japan, Americas and ASEAN countries. In India, we remain focused on addressing the growing local trade requirements for domestic players, we are also the leading bank for providing cost-effective foreign currency, export finance, supply chain financing (SCF) solutions. Our services benefit the complete ecosystem of a corporate and support its growth from a small and medium enterprise to an emerging corporate into a large business and finance to commercial banking and business banking client portfolios.
In 2016, we will be focusing on trade digitisation in India, which will allow us to leverage a host of available channels for promoting electronic trade and document presentation. The key emphasis will be on Bank Payment Obligation (BPO) as an electronic alternative for traditional Letters of Credits. BPO rides on SWIFT’s Trade service utility and runs purely on data submitted by parties for firming up bank’s payment obligation to the supplier of goods.
We support the renewable energy and clean technology sector across our markets. In India, we have facilitated financing of $660 million to the sector from 2008 to 2015.
Renewable energy in India has gained prominence in recent times. The Government of India’s outlook has undergone a significant shift emphasising that 40 per cent of the country’s energy needs should be met from renewable energy sources by 2030. To push the momentum a target to develop 175GW of renewable capacity by 2022 has been decided. In support of this vision, many of our clients are currently exploring potential investment opportunities in renewable energy. We aim to work with our clients to develop bespoke financing solutions to help them meet the current challenges of reducing tariffs. We continue to have ongoing dialogues with like-minded institutions to expand the universe of debt financiers for renewable projects.
Agriculture is a very important sector of the Indian economy. Lending to agriculture sector and strengthening of rural economy is an important imperative for the Bank in India.
In India, our agribusiness loan grew by 12 per cent from $170.14 million in March 2015 to $190.17 million in March 2016. The portfolio growth is attributed to continued efforts in increasing financing to agricultural sector. We are targeting the complete agri-value chain from ‘farm to fork’ that enables credit flow across agriculture aligned segments, thereby translating into improved agriculture productivity and efficiency. We have also targeted allied agricultural activities through exposure to dairy, sea food, and poultry sector, resulting in additional flow of income to the farmers.
Supporting micro, small and medium enterprises is of strategic importance to the Bank. We currently support over 10,000 such borrowers - of which about one-third are micro enterprises - with a total financing of $2.28 billion as on 31 March 2016. This book has grown 27 per cent over last year’s achievement. A highly diverse set of borrowers benefit from our lending to this sector, thereby, contributing to the financial inclusion agenda.