State Bank of India has lowered its home loan growth target to 20 per cent for this fiscal, as lenders are grappling with a slowdown in the housing sector.

“We have already cut interest rates. We expect credit offtake in this sector to pick up in the latter part of the year,” Pradeep Kumar, Deputy Managing Director and Group Executive of the bank, told Business Line here on Thursday.

He was in Hyderabad to inaugurate the first ATM in Andhra Pradesh under the brown label arrangement, envisaging TCBIL, a Tata Group company, as the outsourcing agency. (A brown label ATM is one where an outsourcing agency will install, maintain and service the machine, with the bank providing only cash and connectivity.)

India’s biggest lender was looking at a home loan growth target of 25 per cent at the beginning of the year, but has now scaled it down it in the wake of the economic slowdown. SBI has a home loan portfolio of Rs 1.05 lakh crore, with a market share of 17 per cent in the individual home loan segment.

On the treasury income front, Kumar said the bank was hopeful of maintaining last quarter’s level in the current quarter. He however said profitability for the bank through treasury income was relatively lower than the ‘other income’ channels.

SBI had a mark-to-market gain of Rs 521 crore during the last quarter, which boosted its net profit significantly.

Kumar said a total of 2,700 ATMs under the new brown label arrangement will be set up in Andhra Pradesh in the next two years. Of these, 1500 will come up this fiscal and the remaining in 2013-14.

Under this arrangement, the outsourcing agency agency will be given a transaction fee of Rs 6.70 for each financial transaction and Rs 1.69 for each non-financial transaction.

Currently, about 30 per cent of SBI’s transactions across the country were through the alternative channels, including ATMs and mobile banking. “We want to take this share to 50 per cent in the next two years,” Kumar said.

amitmitra@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 13, 2012)
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