Public sector banks' cumulative profit crossed the ₹1 lakh crore mark in the financial year ended March 2023, with market leader State Bank of India (SBI) accounting for nearly half of the total earnings, according to the news agency PTI.
According to an analysis of their financial results, the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have come a long way as their profit touched ₹1,04,649 crore in 2022-23. These 12 PSBs witnessed a 57% increase in total profit compared to ₹66,539.98 crore earned in 2021-22.
In percentage terms, Pune-based Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) had the highest net profit growth with 126% to ₹2,602 crore, followed by UCO with a 100% rise to ₹1,862 crore and Bank of Baroda with a 94% increase to ₹14,110 crore.
However, in absolute terms, SBI has reported an annual profit of ₹50,232 crore in 2022-23, showing an increase of 59% over the preceding financial year. Except for the Punjab National Bank (PNB), other PSBs have reported impressive annual increases in their profit after tax.
Delhi-headquarter PNB posted a 27% decline in annual net profit from ₹3,457 crore in 2021-22 to ₹2,507 crore in the year ended March 2023. The PSBs which reported an annual profit in excess of ₹10,000 crore are Bank of Baroda ( ₹14,110 crore) and Canara Bank ( ₹10,604 crore).
Other lenders like Punjab and Sind Bank posted an annual profit growth 26% ( ₹1,313 crore), Central Bank of India 51% ( ₹1,582 crore), Indian Overseas Bank 23% ( ₹2,099 crore), Bank of India 18% ( ₹4,023 crore), Indian Bank 34% ( ₹5,282 crore) and Union Bank of India 61% ( ₹8,433 crore), PTI reported.
PSB is a turnaround story from record losses to record profit. The doom-to-bloom story of the public sector banking industry can be attributed to the initiatives and spate of reforms undertaken by the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with former finance minister Arun Jaitley and financial services secretary Rajiv Kumar and his successors.
The government has implemented a comprehensive 4R strategy: Recognising NPAs transparently, Resolution and recovery, Recapitalising PSBs, and Reforms in the financial ecosystem.
As part of the strategy, the government infused an unprecedented ₹3,10,997 crore to recapitalize PSBs during the last five financial years -- from 2016-17 to 2020-21. The recapitalization program provided much-needed support to the PSBs and prevented the possibility of any default on their part, as per PTI reports.
The reforms undertaken by the government over the last eight years addressed credit discipline, ensured responsible lending, and improved governance. Besides, there was the adoption of technology, amalgamation of banks, and the general confidence of bankers was maintained.
In the latest March quarter or the fourth quarter of 2022-23, the PSBs' profit cumulatively increased more than 95% to ₹34,483 crore. In the year-ago period, the same was at ₹17,666 crore.
Analysts said that higher interest income and improvement in the management of non-performing assets or bad loans are among the key reasons for the improved profitability of the banks.
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