SBT most exposed to such NPAs

Non-performing assets (NPA) with the commercial banks in Kerala under their education loan portfolio increased by more than 40 per cent during the calendar year 2013, highlighting not only a serious banking problem, but also an evolving social issue.

According to statistics presented at the latest quarterly meeting of the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), the NPA under education loan jumped from Rs.761 crore to Rs.1,069 crore between December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2013.

Number of accounts

There were 42,328 NPA accounts under this head at the beginning of 2013 and the number went up by 28.06 per cent to 54,205 NPA accounts by the end of the year.

In other words, more than 54,000 educated youngsters in the State carry the worry of heavy indebtedness in their minds before they are actually into their earning careers, or are not earning sufficient money after the completion of their education to pay back their loans.

The banks had 3,84,476 education loan accounts with them, as at the end of 2013. Fourteen per cent of these accounts fall under the NPA head.

The total amount outstanding under the education loan portfolio came to Rs.8,868 crore and more than 12 per cent (Rs.1,069 crore) of this amount fell under the NPA head at the end of 2013.

The NPA under education loan was 5.97 per cent (Rs.414 crore out of a total sum of Rs.6,937 crore outstanding) at the end of 2011 and it went up to 9.6 per cent (Rs.761 crore out of Rs.7,897 crore outstanding) at the end of 2012.

Public vs private

Of the total sum of Rs.1,069 crore under NPA as at the end of 2013, the public sector banks accounted for Rs.988 crore and the private sector banks, Rs.81 crore.

The bank most exposed in Kerala to education loan NPA is the State Bank of Travancore (SBT), which had Rs.306 crore under the head at the end of 2013. The SBT also is the bank that had given the most number of education loans (90,559 accounts as at the end of 2013).

The State Bank of India comes next with an NPA of Rs.230 crore, followed by the Canara Bank with Rs.137 crore, out of the education loan they have disbursed in the State as at the end of 2013.