Edelweiss Group, Central Bank of India partner to co-lend

Mumbai: ECL Finance, a subsidiary of Edelweiss Financial Services, and government-owned Central Bank of India have signed an agreement for priority sector lending to micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) customers.

The partnership comes after the Reserve Bank of India announced a progressive co-origination policy in September last year, allowing banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to co-lend to a wider set of enterprise owners. This is the first such co-origination partnership of Central Bank of India with an NBFC.Last month, the Edelweiss group signed an agreement with Bank of Baroda for a strategic co-origination partnership. The partnership with Central Bank of India comes in quick succession at a time when access to credit is a crucial catalyst for the continued growth of the MSME segment.

“The RBI’s guidelines on co-origination are commendable,” said Chairman and CEO of Edelweiss Group Rashesh Shah. “This is also in line with our strategy to partner public sector enterprises to increase financial penetration and provide easier access to credit products to MSMEs who form the backbone of Indian economy,” he said in a statement.

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Managing Director and CEO of Central Bank of India Pallav Mohapatra said the co-origination model will enable easier access to credit under priority sector lending for the MSME segment. “This partnership will enable us to collaborate and harness technology, bring in the best practices in credit underwriting finer pricing and render a far superior experience in terms of turnaround time to customers,” he said.

Many MSMEs face challenges of high interest rates or are excluded from access to banking services, given geographical inaccessibility. The partnership aims to facilitate speedy disbursal of credit across a bouquet of products, including machinery and business loans.

Enabled by technology, the alliance will ensure robust underwriting for originations, positively impacting the creditworthiness of MSMEs in over 100 cities across the country, Edelweiss said.

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