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Axis Bank to step up lending to MFIs

Private banker Axis Bank on Saturday said it would step up lending to micro-finance institutions (MFIs) sector in which the bank is already having an exposure of Rs 800 crore.

india Updated: Aug 13, 2011 20:28 IST

Private banker Axis Bank on Saturday said it would step up lending to micro-finance institutions (MFIs) sector in which the bank is already having an exposure of Rs 800 crore.

"So far, we have been going slow on lending to the MFIs because of the fiasco, which took place in Andhra Pradesh," managing director and CEO of Axis Bank Shikha Sharma said here.

As regulations for MFIs are in place now, the bank would scale up lending to the sector, she said, adding that they would also consider lending directly to SHGs (self-help groups).

Axis Bank Foundation, the CSR wing of the third-largest private sector bank, on Saturday tied up with MFI Bandhan for five years to offer grants to around 50,000 marginalised people in the districts of South 24 Parganas and Murshidabad in West Bengal.

The foundation along with Bandhan would set up a fund of Rs 100 crore for the purpose, out of which Rs 75 crore would be contributed by the former and the balance by the latter.

"In the next five years, Axis Foundation would work to provide sustainable livelihoods in the most needy and excluded districts of our country, ensuring that at least 60 per cent of the beneficiaries are women," the bank's CEO said.

RBI deputy governor K C Chakrabarty, who was also present on the occasion, said the initiative would help in financial inclusion of the people who are not credit-worthy.