State Bank of India Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara, on Friday, said the lender is in a position to cater to all kinds of growth requirements of the country.

“Retail continues to be an important opportunity for us. There are opportunities available in corporate, SME and international book also,” he told reporters.

The bank will continue to look at opportunities across segments, and the only focus is that asset quality should be of the best quality, said Khara. He added that the bank is on track in terms of meeting targets for the fiscal.

The lender also does not see demand in the retail segment slowing down, Khara said in response to another question.

Gold loan

SBI’s gold loan portfolio has crossed ₹1-lakh crore and it expects the traction to continue this year as well. “During inflationary conditions, gold is a preferred asset class. Then there is traction for gold loan too,” Khara noted, adding that the bank has seen much better gold loan growth in the first quarter of the fiscal than a year ago.

SBI has a 24.16 per cent marketshare in gold loans, and expects it to grow more in the coming year. The bank has non-performing assets of 0.49 per cent in the segment.


In response to a question on the performance of the rupee, Khara said: “We have to live in the macro. Many other currencies have weakened more against the US dollar.”

Customer service initiatives

On the bank’s 67 th Foundation Day, Khara also announced the launch of a host of initiatives for enhancing the customer experience, including measures to cut down transaction time for cash withdrawals at ATMs by one-third.

SBI has also introduced Whatsapp Banking, and plans to scale it up for customers this month.

Khara also announced the introduction of API banking for corporates and aggregators and a revamped contact centre to deliver best services.

“Going forward, we will be launching a number of customer centric initiatives such as exclusive toll free number for HNIs and wealth customers and conversational IVR options to customers and end-to-end digital sales and collection services from the call centre,” he said.

He also announced the launch of premium banking targeted at emerging affluent customers on a pilot basis in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi circles, which will be available to customers in select branches, and will be ramped up going forward.

The banks tarted wealth management in 2015 and has assets under management of over ₹1-lakh crore.