Maintaining quality loan book, safety of employees, customers remain top priorities: SBI chairman – Times of India

MUMBAI: The newly-appointed chairman of State Bank of India (SBI) Dinesh Khara on Wednesday said maintaining quality loan book, safety of employees and customers will remain his top most priorities.
Khara, who took charge on Wednesday, said the bank will continue to strive for even better customer experience. He has succeeded Rajnish Kumar as the Chairman of the country’s largest lender.
“The first and foremost priority is the safety of our employees and customers and also the quality (loan) book which we have been in the position to maintain till now. We would like to see that we are in a position to come to the rescue if at all somebody needs any help,” Khara told reporters after taking charge.
He said that if any corporate is facing distress due to Covid-19-related stress, the bank would be more than happy to support it, within the framework which has been prescribed by RBI.
In August, RBI allowed a one-time restructuring scheme for personal loan and corporate borrowers affected by Covid-19 stress.
He said requests for one-time restructuring at the bank are within the manageable limits.
“When it comes to corporate restructuring, I think, as of now, we have not seen many corporates reaching out (to us). There are some. Whatever numbers we have seen, it is nothing very unusual. I would say that it is all within the manageable limits,” Khara said.
Recently, the bank launched a facility on its website to help retail customers check their eligibility for one-time loan restructuring.
“When we look at the hit (on the facility at the bank’s website), that itself is a reflection of people looking at restructuring. I would say that whatever numbers we have seen till now and considering our book, I think it is very much manageable,” he added.
He said the new restructuring norms announced by RBI are quite liberal.
“I think whatever impairment which will be there due to Covid-19, we would be in a position to handle through the restructuring window which has been made available recently by RBI and even by the earlier circular which was there,” Khara said.
On the capital position of the bank, he said the bank was well-capitalised.
“We have raised the money through tier-I and tier-II and our capital adequacy position is very comfortable. The kind of credit growth we are seeing, we are quite comfortably placed as of now,” he said.
The bank would tap the capital market for incremental fund raising as and when required, he added.
Speaking about monetisation of Yono, the bank’s digital lending platform, Khara said there are various options which are on the discussion table.
“At the material point of time we will come and share with you when we will come to any kind of definitive thoughts,” he said.
He said for SBI, physical branches and digital platforms are going to be necessary imperatives.
“It is not an either or situation. We have to live with both and will have to ensure that all our delivery platforms — physical and digital — perform equally well,” he said.

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