Banking captains will converge in Pune on November 24-25 for their annual conference (BANCON) and they are likely to do some out-of-the-box thinking on the road ahead for the small public sector banks in the next decade.

Will small PSBs exist in the next decade or is it time to frame exit strategies for them? Bankers are certainly going to debate and discuss the future — but there may not be much focus on the way forward or survival strategies for the smaller banks.

The focus will be more about adopting innovation for growth in the coming decade, according to Narendra Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, Bank of Maharashtra.

“Innovating to unlock the next decade” will be the theme of BANCON 2012, Singh said. The 33rd edition of BANCON is to be hosted by Bank of Maharashtra, in association with the Indian Banks’ Association.

At a time when large banks are shy to lend to corporates on the back of their recent experiences, Bank of Maharashtra is keen to expand its loan exposure to large corporates.

Loan market

C.V.R. Rajendran, Executive Director, said that the corporate loan market has bottomed out. The bank is aiming at 30 per cent growth in advances this fiscal, which may not be a challenge, according to Singh.

BANCON 2012 will be inaugurated by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram RBI Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn is expected to give a special address on India’s gold import problems and suggest solutions.

Public sector bankers may shrug off concerns about the worsening NPA situation and continue to plump for growth. Given the ground reality, such strategies seem far-fetched to many.

srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 16, 2012)
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