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Business News/ Economy / Banking sector heads see no demand slowdown for loans

Banking sector heads see no demand slowdown for loans

SBI managing director Ashwini Kumar Tewari said geopolitical volatility hasn't had a substantial effect on India

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The economy is growing and there has been a pick-up in demand for lo+ans, say panelists at the Mint Annual BFSI Summit.

In the session titled ‘Banking’s growth juggernaut: Can it keep growing?’, Ashwini Kumar Tewari, managing director, State Bank of India said geopolitical volatility hasn't had a substantial effect on India. “We are actually seeing a pick-up in demand for loans. Talking to industry players, we found that everyone is looking to expand capacity."

“Initially most of the action was in renewables, then roads, and some logistics areas. Now, it has moved to a broader economy like steel, cement and others. All of them have plans to expand in the next few years," he said, adding that post elections, some of the capex will pick up. “I'm optimistic about the way we're looking at growth in this country. It's a good picture going ahead."

Adding to the point, R. Subramaniakumar, MD & CEO, RBL Bank, said there aren’t signs of weakness similar to two decades ago. “We have a share in the ever-growing segment. We believe that it's going to grow in the mid segment as well as in corporate. The economy is growing. We have enough opportunity for growth. Two major factors that will trigger the growth this year are that the living standards for individuals are growing which will lead to demand in consumer and retail products. Secondly, this demand will trigger the supply side demand."

Subramaniakumar also noted that the mindset in the country has changed from save and spend to spend and save. 

On the subject of governance issues, Pralay Mondal, MD & CEO, CSB Bank Ltd, said banking does not have the largest governance issue. “The point is we cannot afford to have governance issues because we are dealing with public money."

He, however, says that the regulator putting governance as the largest agenda has brought in more accountability. “When we look at the board and now that two statutory auditors have come in as a mandate, more accountability has come in. Boards are looking for more attention to detail because they are made accountable."

Baldev Prakash, MD & CEO of J&K Bank, also noted the importance of branch networks as well as customer service in the banking ecosystem. “Branch networks are important because the customers want to interact with you before depositing money. But the comfort and convenience of the customer is even more important. Connecting, servicing and culturally synchronizing with the customers is important," he said.

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Published: 11 Jan 2024, 09:11 PM IST
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