Hyderabad

Take a relook at crisis management plans, banks told

Focus now on survival, sustainability than on profits: former Deputy Governor of RBI

Former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) H.R. Khan underscored the need for banks to take a relook at their crisis management plans in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

Bank boards should “diligently relook at crisis management plan and team taking into account the possible uncertain duration of the pandemic,” he said, also highlighting the need to also have a clear succession planning, right from the CEO level.

“In every important meeting, the next-in line should be necessarily present so that they are ready to step in, in case of an emergency,” said the senior banker on Friday, addressing an e-programme for bank board members, the first such, organised by the Institute of Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT).

Co-locate key people

The focus now should be on survival and sustainability rather than on profits. Key personnel, including from outsourced vendors, should be co-located at or very near critical sites, he said.

Mr. Khan, who was speaking on Business Continuity and Change Planning (BCCP), said while the banks emphasis on technology was behind data centres and technology platforms standing them in good stead during the pandemic-induced lockdown, the problem, however, pertained to people. “We have a people problem as it is people who are affected by the virus or are unavailable and not the IT or telecom infrastructure,” he said, seeking to drive home the significance of having a succession plan in place.

A release from IDRBT on his speech said he also cited the opportunities in the digital banking space that have opened up in the backdrop of the pandemic and the lockdown.

Digital push

The hesitation of the customers to handle paper currency or visit branch premises at this point is bound to help in digital push. The COVID-19 crisis provided an opportunity to “revive, reinvent and move more banking products and services to the digital platforms,” he said, pointing to how WhatsApp has come to be used in a big away, even by the elderly though they are not digitally-savvy.

“We need to learn the right lessons from such tools and plan our strategies like Doing Banking from Home to reach out to customers across segments,” he said.

Other aspects that Mr. Khan stressed include organisational change and HR reinvention as well as a need to ensure additional security in Work From Home scenarios besides HR aspects tweaked to focus on outcomes rather than attendance.

IDRBT Director A.S.Ramasastri said since Covid-19 is also an opportunity to digitise, managements should think forward and leverage new age technologies like IoT, 5G, Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning. An e-learning mode for that IDRBT had recently introduced for its training programmes has received overwhelming response, the release said.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 8:13:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/take-a-relook-at-crisis-management-plans-banks-told/article31595517.ece

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