The next 18-24 months are going to be a period of difficulty for the Indian financial services sector as headwinds begin to bite. In the expectation of a risk-averse regulatory stance, widespread structural change in the market is unlikely.
Therefore, the performance gap between the better-positioned players and the average in the sector is likely to widen. Operational efficiency will be a challenge across banking and insurance and keeping a firm grip on costs would be crucial for the financial services sector.
Also See Public Banks: Cost income ration vs revenue per employee, FY2007 (Graphic)
The main lever here is not fundamental cost reduction, but rather squeezing productivity from existing resources through better management for performance and investment in process standardization/automation.