Bank officials neither confirmed nor denied the circular till the time of going to press.
“It is essential to recognise that customers presently classified as NPA (non-performing asset) borrowers were once esteemed clients of the bank.Establishing a meaningful connection with these customers has the potential to bridge the divide that has developed over time. Such interactions may also foster a sense of empathy and harmony, motivating some borrowers to take steps toward settling their outstanding accounts with the bank,” the circular, issued by the bank’s general manager in charge of recovery, said.
It noted that while relationship with the borrower deteriorates when an account turns into an NPA, not all of them are wilful defaulters, and many default due to unfortunate circumstances. “Conversely, some cases have revealed that conflicts of ego between customers and bank officials alone have driven accounts into NPA status,” the circular said.
The circular said the initiative to distribute sweets to top 10 defaulters aligns with the practices of peer public sector banks (PSBs). “Branch heads need to personally meet them, greet them on the occasion of Diwali and distribute them a sweet packet. Zonal heads are similarly advised to personally engage with and greet the top 10 NPA borrowers in their respective zones on the auspicious occasion of Diwali,” the circular said.