The Telegraph
Saturday , February 15 , 2014
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Game plan for growth

Bhattacharya in Mumbai on Friday. (PTI)

Mumbai, Feb. 14: The SBI today announced a new strategy to enhance the performance of the bank and place it on a higher growth path.

Central to the plan is controlling the burst of bad loans in its books through constant monitoring and rejigging the current structure that tackles such cases.

Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said the bank had decided to move the stress assets recovery branches that were reporting to the National Banking Group for better focus and results.

“We have changed the structure and created four general managers — north, south, east and west — who will be reporting to the stress management group,” she said.

According to the SBI chief, the focus will be on identifying cases which shows signs of weakness and may slip into the non-performing asset (NPA) category.

The bank has formed various committees based on its exposure. These committees will meet periodically to chalk out action plans in case an account turns into an NPA even as they identify potentially weak accounts.

Further, the SBI will soon bring in a vendor to put in place a technology-backed early warning system. This, she said, will capture data both from its own system and from the environment to alert the bank on sectors or companies that are displaying weakness.

Besides controlling NPAs, the four-pronged strategy includes boosting employee productivity through better incentivisation. As part of this plan, the bank has moved more than 900 employees from administrative roles to front offices.

“We want to create an individual dash-board,” Bhattacharya said while indicating that the bank will not only identify employees who are performing better but will also reward them through better incentives. Initially, this will apply at a branch manager level and subsequently will be extended to others.

The other two areas where the bank is working on are bringing down costs and boosting its other income.

“Some costs such as wages are sticky. But in many other areas, we have taken initiatives to bring down costs and its effect is already been seen,” Bhattacharya said.