M A I N   N E W S

State Bank of Patiala is in poor state
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

The lows

  • Retail deposits at all-time low
  • Deputationist zonal heads not able to control business.
  • Lack of coordination between management and staff in branches

on track: MD

SBoP managing director A C Varma said the bank was “well on track” and that they would be able to meet their targets by the end of this month. “Because of the initiatives taken by our employees in the past ten days, we are now short of Rs 1,000 crore in deposits and have crossed the target for advances,” he told The Tribune.

Chandigarh, March 14
Business at the State Bank of Patiala is on a sharp decline. As the financial year draws to a close, the bank is short of Rs 3,080 crore in deposits and Rs 2,223 crore in advances.

In addition, around Rs 4,000 crore worth of high cost deposits are due to mature during this month. Top officials in the bank admit that they may not be able to roll them over because of the high costs prevailing in the banking industry. They say that the bank needs to mobilize about Rs 7000 crore of deposits by the end of March. "Though we can meet the target for advances, we need deposits for increasing the flow of advances," said an official.

Sources told TNS that there has been a continuous downslide in deposits at the bank branches, particularly in the retail segment. All bank branches have now been told to reduce the overhead expenditure by at least 20 per cent by the end of this financial year.

As cost cutting measures, branches have been told to minimize the usage of BSNL and other telephones, and instead correspond through the internet. Bank staff has also been asked to cut down electricity bills; reduce expenditure on repairs; and, curtail postage and telegram charges. Travelling expenditure of officers too has come under the scanner and they have been asked to use car pools and buy air tickets at lowest fares.

The bank management has sought the help of its officers’ association and employee unions to get business back on rails. The wary management is also offering several incentives to the staff for mobilizing business. In fact, the bank managing director, A C Varma, is himself overseeing the efforts to generate more resources, and has now sent appeals to the branches, asking them mobilize at least Rs 5 crore of deposit per branch by the end of the month. In this appeal, issued on March 3, a copy of which is in the possession of The Tribune, Varma admits the poor fiscal health of the bank and says that the bank will be in a ‘safe zone’ only if each branch is able to collect deposits of Rs 5 crore by the end of this month. He has also asked the branches to ensure that there is no outflow of deposits from the branch by the end of March.



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