Wary of agents, SBI to hire 3,000 recovery officers

Wary of agents, SBI to hire 3,000 recovery officers


New Delhi: Plagued by complaints against the high-handedness of private loan recovery agents, State Bank of India is looking to directly hire 3,000 marketing and recovery officers whose job profile would include “soft recovery" of loans.

These officers, vacancies for which were notified on 1 October 2007 and advertised in newspapers today, would also market the bank’s products, conduct pre-sanction survey, file applications, verify papers and soft recovery.

Only yesterday, the Reserve Bank warned commercial banks that it would not hesitate to ban them from hiring recovery agents if “abusive practices" persisted.

RBI said it would bring out a circular on engaging such agents by 15 November 2007.

The officers would be hired across the country on “contractual" basis with a compensation package of Rs2 lakh per annum.

After announcing the busy-season credit policy, RBI Governor Y V Reddy asked banks to use their own staff to recover loans if their agents were found to be adopting abusive practices.

“Banks that give loans, no doubt have a right to recover them, but when they use less than proper means we become responsible for the system as a whole to ensure such abusive practices are prevented," Reddy had said.

“This invites serious supervisory disapproval, which includes imposing temporary or permanent ban if such practices persisted... I am hopeful our threat would work," he had said.

In response to the tough stand of RBI on recovery agents, State Bank of India CMD O P Bhatt had said such practices should not be allowed in the civil society and the apex bank has decided to nip it in the bud.

SBI said in the advertisement that it was looking for graduates in agriculture, business administration, social work, marketing as well as MBAs for the position and would give preference to agri graduates as the job profile also includes continuous village visits.

Half of the positions have been reserved for SC/ST/OBC candidates. The bank said that over 400 vacancies each are in its Bangalore, Kerala, Lucknow and New Delhi circles, while 200-400 officers each would be recruited in Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Hyderabad circles.

Chennai and Mumbai each have over 117 and 142 vacancies, while the number of positions to be filled in Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati and Bhopal are less than 100 each.