Money & Banking

Banks should focus on survival, crisis management: HR Khan

?OUR BUREAU Hyderabad | Updated on May 15, 2020

HR Khan, former Deputy Governor, RBI

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, banks should focus on survival and sustainability rather than on profits, according to HR Khan, former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India.

He was addressing the board members of banks on ‘Covid-19 Pandemics & Business Continuity and Change Planning in Banks: People Perspectives’ via video conference organised by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT).

There is a need to shift away from the general practice of focusssing more on technology, said Khan, adding that key personnel, including from outsourced vendors, should be co-located.

“Banks Board should diligently relook at crisis management plan and team, taking into account the possible uncertain duration of the pandemic,” he said.

Digital platforms

The Covid-19 crisis provides an opportunity to revive, reinvent, and move more banking products and services to digital platforms. “Customers are hesitant to deal with paper currency or visit the branch premises at this point; this will help in digital push. Digital payments, more particularly UPI, have been quite successful. We need to expand other customer-facing products similarly,” he said.

Referring to the organisational change and innovation in human resources, the ex-RBI official asked banks to be flexible with organisational roles and structures. “There is a need to move from strict individualistic hierarchies to hybrid, distributed working model aimed towards teamwork and collaboration. Flattening of multi-layered hierarchies can be considered. Banks should identify and benefit from employees who can multi-task.”

Stating that the lockdown had forced many people to work from home, which poses its own challenges, Khan said data confidentiality and infrastructural challenges were critical in banking. “Many banks lack common shared repositories and databases, which are now important. There is a need to ensure additional security in work from home scenarios,” he added.

AS Ramasastri, Director, IDRBT, said since Covid-19 was also an opportunity to digitise and that managements should think forward and leverage new age technologies such as Internet of Things, 5G, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. 98 board bembers of various public and private members participated.

Published on May 15, 2020

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