SBBJ's regional office in Chennai

K. T. Jagannathan

The bank aims at Rs. 50,000 cr. business for the current financial year

3 more branches planned in the SouthTargets six lakh new customers

CHENNAI: State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur (SBBJ) is setting up a regional office in Chennai.

Disclosing this in an interview with this correspondent here recently, S. K. Bhattacharyya, Managing Director of SBBJ, said all the branches in the South would now come under the Chennai regional office. Hitherto, the South was monitored from its regional office in Mumbai.

The bank has three branches in Tamil Nadu one each in Coimbatore, Tirupur and Chennai. The bank would now set up one more branch in each of these three centres, he added. Two per cent of the bank's branch network was in the South, which contributed to four per cent of the bank's business.

SBBJ, Mr. Bhattacharyya said, was keen to participate in the growth story of the South.

He expressed optimism that the bank would hit the target of Rs. 50,000-crore business for the current financial year. SBBJ had already crossed the Rs. 45,000 crore-mark in the third quarter ended December 2006, he said. For the year ended March 2006, the bank reported a total business of Rs. 37,800 crore.

Mr. Bhattacharyya said the bank had set itself a target of adding six lakh new customers this year. So far, it had added 4.84 lakh new customers. This addition to customer base would also boost the bank's effort to drive low cost deposits (current and savings accounts), currently at 40 per cent of the total deposits, substantially in the year. The bank had reported a profit of Rs. 203 crore for the nine-month period ended December 2006. In 2005-06, the bank reported a profit of Rs. 145 crore. Mr. Bhattacharyya said SBI held 75 per cent equity in the bank. No individual could hold more than 200 shares, he said.