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Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004

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Syndicate Bank gets ready for second public issue

Our Bureau

Mr Michael Bastian

Manipal , June 14

THE Chairman and Managing Director of Syndicate Bank, Mr Michael Bastian, has said that the board and the annual general meeting of shareholders of the bank have approved the decision to go in for the second public issue.

He was addressing presspersons after attending the fifth annual general meeting of the shareholders at Manipal on Monday. "The bank has set the ball rolling for issuing the second public issue," he said.

The bank may come out with the issue in about two to three months time.

The issue will be of Rs 50 crore face value. Premium and other aspects will be decided at the time of entering the market, he said.

Asked about the steps to be taken to bring down net NPA level to zero per cent, he said that the bank would make more provisions in this regard. "We have done reasonably well in recovery mechanism," he said.

Mr Bastian said the bank introduced "multi-city account" whereby the customer can operate his account in any of the branches having CBS (core banking solution) facility.

As many as 150 CBS branches have become fully operational, and another 75 CBS branches will be operational by December 2004, he said.

Asked about the reasons for the focus of the bank on term deposits than savings accounts, he said "term deposits have become too short in the country." And there are certain schemes like "sweeping accounts" where the surplus amount will be transferred to this account. Focus on this area is more because of customer's choice, he said.

Detailing the "hub and spokes" scheme of the bank, he said that a cluster of rural branches are linked to a nodal branch where their back office work is consolidated.

Since the model introduced as a pilot scheme to link rural branches with computer system has been successful, Mr Bastain said that the bank was planning to replicate the scheme in other centres also.

Asked about the number of employees opting for special leave scheme, he said, "We are expecting around 1,000 employees to opt for this scheme."

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