Industry

Good customer service is key to banks’ growth and stability: Pranab

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with Chairman, SBI, Pratip Choudhuri at the golden jubilee celebratio of State Bank Staff College (Hyderabad), at Gurgaon on Sunday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with Chairman, SBI, Pratip Choudhuri at the golden jubilee celebratio of State Bank Staff College (Hyderabad), at Gurgaon on Sunday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma  

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'Quality of human capital will be the defining factor in shaping its future'

Pointing to ‘human capital deficit' as one of the major challenges facing public sector banks (PSBs) in emerging as potential global leaders, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday asked the banking community to improve customer services to remain relevant in an intensely competitive financial business environment.



“Good customer service is the heart of banking service delivery. Banking is predominantly a customer-oriented business and good customer service is the key to banks' growth and stability,” Mr. Mukherjee said while addressing an inaugural function at the State Bank of India Academy at Gurgaon (Haryana) near here to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of Hyderabad-based SBI Staff College



‘Sole differentiating factor'



Mr. Mukherjee pointed out that in view of the enhanced competition amongst banks, it is customer service that “becomes the sole differentiating factor” that has to be leveraged to stay relevant and forge ahead in the business.



“As customer awareness grows, banks would be required to gear up for providing more efficient and, at the same time, cost-effective services leveraging the technological capabilities. Customer retention is going to be the key factor for banks going ahead. A bank is only as good as its people, and therefore, the quality of its human capital will be the single most important defining factor in shaping its future,” he said.



Since the human capital deficit is one of the major challenges for PSBs, the Finance Minister pitched for manpower policy planning and human resource development as among the key areas that bank managements need to concentrate on. Mr. Mukherjee reminded the PSB boards that a substantial part of the current work force in banks had joined service in the 1970s and were in the process of superannuating.



“Challenge and opportunity”



“It is estimated that in the next few years, 80 per cent of General Managers, 65 per cent of the Deputy General Managers, 58 per cent of the Assistant General Managers and 44 per cent of the Chief Managers would be retiring,” he said while pointing out that to replace the existing workforce — basically trained in traditional banking — with personnel with specialised financial service delivery skills, “is both a challenge as well as an opportunity.”



Recently, the government requested the PSB chiefs to prepare their human resource management plans in keeping with the decisions taken on the Khandelwal committee report recommendations on HR issues. “I would urge all the CMDs and their colleagues on the boards of the PSBs to provide their undivided attention on human resource development matters as the subject has not received the focus it deserves at the board level,” he said.



This would enable the public sector banks to emerge as strong and viable financial institutions. “I would like all PSBs, including SBI, to attach the highest priority to human resource development and feel confident that with a new approach to HRD, they would be able to live up to the expectations of the needs of our economy and be an important catalyst of the country's progress and development,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 2:55:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/good-customer-service-is-key-to-banks-growth-and-stability-pranab/article2984693.ece

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