Axis Bank’s CEO recommends complete lifting of lockdown as all business inter-linked
Axis Bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Chaudhry,
on Wednesday, said unlike other countries, India implemented lockdown with no
major financial support and, hence, it must be lifted entirely or else the
country will face severe implications. He stated that it would take at least
6-9 quarters for the economy to revive from the 40-day lockdown.
Chaudhry predicted that all sectors including the corporates, small businesses, and individuals are undergoing severe stress and many of them may even soon become Non-performing Assets (NPA).
The CEO said, “We need to open up the entire country and not just parts of the economy, as there are so many inter-linkages of everything you open up. You can continue with your strict norms in terms of how you will shut down parts of country or city or districts if there is a red spot, but the country has to be opened up. Otherwise it is going to lead to a huge economic crisis.”Also, the bank’s board has approved the purchase of an additional 29% stake in Max Life Insurance taking the bank’s total stake in the insurer to 30%. The transaction is likely to get sealed in 6-9 months after which the joint venture will be in the 70:30 ratio (Max Financial Services: Axis Bank).
Chaudhry also stated that the bank’s retail business was almost shut as no one was borrowing and approximately 11% of borrowers have applied for a moratorium.
On Tuesday, the bank reported a surprising loss of Rs 1,300 crore for the quarter ending March 31 as provisions rose sharply compared to a year ago which could partially be due to the pandemic-related uncertainties.