With a view to catering to the SME (small and medium enterprises) segment in a big way, Corporation Bank has opened exclusive SME loan centres in 14 cities across the country. Addressing presspersons here on Friday, S. Pattabiraman, General Manager, Chennai Circle, said the plan was to disburse Rs. 5,000 crore loans this year to the SME sector.

To encourage SME entrepreneurs, the bank has recently launched a festival loan bonanza for SMEs under which it would offer 50 basis points concession on interest rates applicable on 10 SME credit schemes.

Mr. Pattabiraman said an additional interest rate concession of 25 basis points would be offered for women entrepreneurs. Besides there would be a reduction of 50 per cent in processing charges, he said. For loans extended to micro and small enterprises, the prevailing rate of interest ranges from 11.60 per cent to 12.60 per cent for loans up to Rs. 1 crore.

For medium enterprises the prevailing rate ranges from 12.75 per cent to 13.75 per cent for loans up to Rs. 2 lakh.

According to B. V. Baliga, Deputy General Manager, the SME portfolio of the bank increased by Rs. 1,128 crore to Rs.15,784 crore as on September 30, 2012 from Rs. 14,656 crore as on March 31, 2012. Micro and small enterprise accounted for Rs. 15,000 crore against Rs. 13,752 crore, he said. The bank was planning to open three more SME loan centres soon, he said.