The Telegraph
Sunday , August 3 , 2014
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SBI banks on retail

Sriram in Calcutta on Saturday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta, Aug. 2: The State Bank of India expects its retail business to grow at 20 per cent this fiscal, driven largely by increased advances and digital banking initiatives by the country’s largest lender.

“We expect a 20-25 per cent growth in the retail segment this year,” B. Sriram, managing director and group executive (national banking), said today.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of sbiINTOUCH here today.

Sriram said as part of the sbiINTOUCH initiative the bank has launched a seven-branch pilot project to enrich the digital banking experience of both existing and new customers.

The services range from opening a new bank account to applying for loans with minimum human intervention.

Such branches will help the bank to lower its expenses, besides scaling up retail business by approaching young customers. “Our endeavour will be to keep the concept fresh and relevant to the youth,” Sriram said.

The SBI’s retail advances grew 13.34 per cent to Rs 2,37,667 crore in 2013-14 over the previous fiscal. Current account and savings account deposits (CASA) along with retail term deposits as proportion of total deposits increased from 88.37 per cent at the end of March 2013 to 89.89 per cent at the end of March 2014.

Sriram said the merger of subsidiaries with the parent bank was being considered.

“Discussions are on. They are all on the table to discuss what is good and what is bad for the bank and how would we take it forward,” he said.

He added that the merger would be good for the group in terms of better reach. However, additional capital would be required and its availability could play a role in the timing of the merger.

Additional funds would be needed as the parent bank has some differences with associate banks in certain areas, including terms and conditions related to human resources issues, Sriram said.