Belief and trust to them who gather on a common platform - loan melas - to realise the dream of owning an immovable property in a hassle-free mode

A number of banks in the city have been organising ‘mela’ to extend housing loans to customers in the recent months thus reaching out to those desirous of owning an immovable property. The ‘melas’ are organised in coordination with builders, flat promoters, legal advisors and even ‘vasthu’ consultants, thereby providing a counselling-cum-consultative approach to the customers under one roof. These melas have come as a vital link between borrowers and builders.

The main advantage of melas is the counselling guiding the borrowers towards a right choice fitting their repayment schedule in commensurate with their tastes. Bankers also take the opportunity to create awareness among the customers of their wide range of credit schemes. Bank officials say that a few borrowers take loan from usury or private money lenders, over and above the bank credit. The counselling at the exhibition prevents them from falling into bad debts.

One such programme, ‘home and vehicle loan mela’ along with ‘grand festival offers’ was organised in October by Corporation Bank. “We organised a similar programme in Coimbatore which proved a big hit, and based on its success, we extended it to Tiruchi,” says T.R.Ravi Shankar, marketing manager, Corporation Bank.

Special offer such as concession in interest rates, processing fees and penalty-free pre-closure or pre-payment of dues formed some of the salient features of the camp. Though the camp was held as early as October, these benefits stand valid till November-end.

Corporation Bank sanctioned additional concession for those availing themselves of both housing and vehicle loans. The rate of interest for vehicle loans was reduced by 0.25 per cent for the borrowers taking both housing and vehicle loans. “We wanted to sensitise the borrowers to various housing loan schemes at our bank. The mela attracted a large number of borrowers and we are still processing the applications,” says Mr. Ravi Shankar. Young employees are the largest beneficiaries of the scheme as they are eligible for a long-term repayment schedule for 30 years with a low EMI of Rs.915 per lakh, according to M.Velu, senior manager of the bank.

Canara Bank has floated an exclusive ‘Retail Assets Hub’ (RAH) at its circle office. Housing finance has been one of the priority sectors of our economy and Canara Bank has been extending credit to this vital sector through customer-friendly approach,” says R. Sampath Kumar, deputy general manager of Canara Bank, Tiruchi circle office.

The RAH in coordination with builders has organised a two-day housing promoters exhibition at Thillai Nagar, which concludes on Sunday. He points out that the city has a good potential for housing loans in the recent years, particularly to the increase in the number of non-resident Indians (NRI). On the first day on Saturday, the bank has provisionally processed and sanctioned loans to 37 borrowers to the tune of Rs.5.25 crore. “Hassle-free credit linkage has been the customer’s preference and the exhibition has been organised to achieve the desired goals,” says M. Srinivasan, processing officer and P. Dharshini, marketing officer of RAH, adding that the availability of builders at the exhibition facilitates visitors to select a house of their choice and suited to their income and repayment schedule.

The Tiruchi circle of Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank, the lead bank for the district, also organised similar melas this year. Barring a few borrowers, repayment has been prompt in housing and vehicle loan segments, according to K.Nagesh Bhatt, chief regional manager, Indian Overseas Bank.

The builders find the exhibition a right platform to ascertain the needs of customers and to identify eligible borrowers. The builders not only build the houses but also ensure loans from the banks. “We do it as part of service to customers and thereby ensuring a hassle-free loan to the beneficiaries,” says M.Karthikeyan from Morais City, which promotes ‘Individual Luzury Villas’, an integrated township near airport area.