Retail, farm, SME sectors offer good growth potential: Corporation Bank CMD

AJ Vinayak Mangalore | Updated on February 03, 2014 Published on February 03, 2014

SR BANSALCMD of Corporation Bank

SR Bansal, Chairman and Managing Director of Corporation Bank, is a banking industry veteranwith more than three decades of experience. Known in the industry circles for his result-oriented approach and quick decision-making, Bansal assumed charge of Mangalore-based Corporation Bank in October 2013.

Bansal told Business Line in an interview that he is now focused on five areas for growth. Excerpts:

In the backdrop of a slowing domestic economy, how do you see the growth of the banking sector?

The overall performance of the financial sector in general and the banking sector in particular has been impacted.

The credit and deposit growth in the current fiscal has been moderate so far, but we expect some improvement in the last quarter, which is the busy season.

In this environment, retail, agriculture and SME (small and medium enterprise) sectors offer good potential and we have made efforts to improve our business in these segments.

I have advised our field staff to focus on five important areas.

Which are they?

Mobilising CASA (current account, savings account) deposits; quality credit growth with focus on agriculture, retail and MSME; expansion of branch and ATM network and alternative delivery channels; customer acquisition, especially Next-Gen customers; and improvement in asset quality.

In the first two quarters of the fiscal, both NPAs (non-performing assts) and doubtful assets have increased. What steps have been taken to contain that growth?

The deterioration in asset quality is visible across the banking industry, which is basically on account of the slowdown in the manufacturing and services sectors.

Timely action on NPAs and improved recovery action are high on the bank’s agenda. We have initiated action against the defaulting borrowers by invoking the Sarfaesi Act and resorting to legal action by filing suits in debt recovery tribunals and civil courts.

Wilful defaulters are dealt with sternly — we file FIRs and refer their names to CIBIL and the RBI. While a robust mechanism for early detection of distress in the loan accounts has been set up, we have also strengthened our monitoring and follow-up at all levels.

Each General Manager at the corporate office has been allotted top NPA accounts for close personal follow-up and monitoring. Recovery camps are being held across the country in all the branches and zones.

Are you comfortable with your CASA base?

The total deposits of the bank reached around ₹1.76-lakh crore at the end of December, registering a growth of 25 per cent year-on-year. The CASA share was 19 per cent of total deposits, which requires to be improved.

The bank is taking a number of steps towards increasing CASA deposits. Recently, we launched an SB campaign, where all employees, including staff at administrative offices, were required to canvass for a minimum of 10 quality SB accounts per person. Besides, we are focusing on newly opened branches to drive CASA growth. In the past three years, the bank opened around 600 branches that has broadened our customer base and helped to garner more low-cost funds.

Tell us about your business process re-engineering plans.

Our focus is on designing Next-Gen branches for enhanced customer experience, developing fully integrated backend architecture, redesigning core processes and creating multi-channel architecture to improve customer reach and acquisition. The circle-level organisation structure has been revamped with clearly-defined roles to provide more emphasis on business development and performance management.

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Published on February 03, 2014
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