Former Chairman’s statement

Moving forward with confidence

‘‘Your Bank is an agile, analytics-driven, customer-centric and humane enterprise, with a shared ambition to grow the right way, bringing prosperity to all stakeholders.’’

– M VENUGOPALAN

India’s strong economic fundamentals, along with the pentup domestic demand for banking and financial services, have created both opportunities and challenges. Initially as a systemically important NBFC, and later as a Small Finance Bank, we have capitalised on the opportunities and built a strong foundation on which we can profitably and sustainably propel ourselves into the future.

DEAR STAKEHOLDERS,

As I write my last letter to you as Chairman of the Board of AU Bank, at a time when the post-COVID uncertainties and anxieties still loom large on the horizons of the world economy and financial markets, I feel privileged to have been part of the exciting journey to becoming a new-age bank capable of facing present day challenges confidently. For the last two-and-a-half decades, we have not only served the unbanked and under-banked rural milieu, but have also helped realise their personal and business aspirations, contributing to the transformation of more than oneand- a-half million lives.

All along India’s strong economic fundamentals, along with the pentup domestic demand for banking and financial services, have created both opportunities and challenges. Initially as a systemically important NBFC, and later as a small finance bank, we have capitalised on the opportunities and built a strong foundation on which we can profitably and sustainably propel ourselves into the future.

Amidst a cyclical slowdown in the economy, with GDP growth estimated to decline to 5% in FY 2019-20 (as per the advance estimates) from 6.8% in FY 2018-19, we reported robust momentum across all performance indicators. Further, we have remained insulated from the system liquidity constraints and asset quality concerns that have dampened industry sentiments.

Your Bank remained strong on all financial key parameters covering deposits, disbursement, AUM and profitability growth. That this performance was achieved against the backdrop of a slowing environment of system deposit and credit growth in FY 2019-20, further reassures my confidence. I believe, as part of the management team over the years, that your Bank will remain agile, convert challenges into business opportunities and come out stronger for the next phase of economic growth.

Your Bank is an agile, analyticsdriven, customer-centric and humane enterprise, with a shared ambition to grow the right way, bringing prosperity to all stakeholders.

The post-COVID lockdown scenario is still unfolding. Though international organisations like WHO, World Bank and others are predicting significant impact on the world economy, there is a strong parallel view that the Indian economy will revive faster. The Indian government took some swift and strong measures like identification, isolation, quarantine, lockdown, relief measures etc. to contain the spread of the virus, which could produce better results compared to most of the developed countries. The government and the RBI also came up with a series of fiscal and monetary policy initiatives, financial packages, relief measures for industry and trade etc. While pressures are building up on demand and flow of credit, banks will need to be prudent and remain liquid with higher capital adequacy to maintain solvency.

In this context, I believe that your Bank is well placed to tackle any situation that unfolds, as we are well-grounded, agile and nimblefooted. Given the kind of stress that we are seeing, there will be challenges to overcome as well as opportunities to be leveraged, which I am sure, would help your Bank grow to newer heights.

Before I conclude, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, IRDAI and other regulators for their valuable advice and support. I also thank our investors and customers for their contributions and support during the Bank’s journey.

Our team is definitely carving a niche and raising the bar for inclusive banking in India. I congratulate Sanjay and his team for their dedication, commitment and relentless efforts in making AU Bank what it is today and I am hopeful that the Bank shall become a greater asset of the nation in the coming years.

Let me sign off with best wishes and warmest regards to all of you,

Regards,
M VENUGOPALAN