The State Bank of India is planning to expand its branch network in Andhra Pradeh by 80-100 during the current financial year in addition to the existing 1,326 in the State, according to Rakesh Sharma, Chief General Manager.

He was speaking to reporters here on Saturday after inaugurating a branch in the industrial area at Mindi. He said it was the sixty-eighth branch in the city and would cater to the needs of customers in the nearby industrial areas. He said most of the new branches to be opened during the current fiscal would be in metros and urban areas, as the bank wanted to compete with the private banks. During 2012-13, he said, the bank had opened 97 more branches in Andhra Pradesh, with most of them being in the rural and semi-urban areas, and therefore, “we have to maintain the balance this year to face competition from private banks which are mostly confined to urban areas.”

He said the bank had collected deposits of Rs 59,800 crore in the State and advanced Rs 61,500 crore. It had met the targets set by the State Government in extending loans to women self-help groups and also in issuing kisan credit cards. The bank had managed to reduce the non-performing assets (NPAs) in the last quarter of 2012-13 by Rs 450 crore. “We still have Rs 2,455 crore of NPA in the State, with the farm sector loans accounting for more than Rs 1,000 crores of the NPA. The net NPA is 2.3 per cent but there is no problem as we are confident of reducing it further to manageable proportions,” he said.

Housing loans

He said the main focus would be on retail lending, especially housing and car loans. “We are lending for house construction and purchase at the lowest rates, with no hidden costs. There are no processing hassles and the customers are happy. We are offering loans up to Rs 30 lakhs at 9.95 per cent, with a tenure of 20 years. That is why many customers of other banks are transferring their housing loans to us. We are taking them over. Our current market share in housing loans is 28 per cent and we wish to take it to 40 per cent,” he said.

Regarding profit of the bank in the State, he said he could not give exact figure, as audit had to be completed, but there would certainly be 25 per cent growth in profit. He said he expected the credit offtake in the current year to be good in the State.

Manoj Khattar, Deputy General Manager of the Visakhapatnam zone, said the Kohinoor branch of the SBI had, so far, collected Rs 25 crore in deposits in the city from high net worth individuals. The amount would be doubled during the current financial year. He said there were 205 branches in the zone and 14 more would be added during the current year.

K. Dali Setti, branch manager, also spoke.

(This article was published on April 7, 2013)
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