‘India needs 4-5 more banks like SBI’

September 27, 2021 12:00 am | Updated 06:27 am IST - MUMBAI

Finance Minister says access to banking should be improved through technology

Money matters:Union Bank of India MD Rajkiran Rai G. presents a memento to Nirmala Sitharaman during the 74th annual general meeting of Indian Banks’ Association.PTI

Money matters:Union Bank of India MD Rajkiran Rai G. presents a memento to Nirmala Sitharaman during the 74th annual general meeting of Indian Banks’ Association.PTI

Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said India would need four or five more banks like the SBI to support economic growth.

“The way in which the economy is shifting to a different plane altogether, the way in which industry is adapting, so many new challenges keep arising. To address these challenges, we need not just more, but bigger banks,” she told bankers at the 74th Annual General Meeting of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) in Mumbai. A video of her speech has been released by the Press Information Bureau.

Exhorting the banking industry to imagine how banking has to be in the immediate and long-term future, she said, “If we look at post-COVID scenario, India’s banking contour will have to be very unique to India, where there has been an extremely successful adoption of digitisation.”

Underlining the importance of seamless and interconnected digital systems in creating a sustainable future, she said: “The long-term future of Indian banking is going to be largely driven by digitised processes.”

She urged the IBA to improve access to banking in every district through a rationalised approach and optimal utilisation of digital technologies.

To achieve this, she advised the IBA to carry out digitised location-wise mapping of all bank branches for every district.

“Almost two-thirds of nearly 7.5 lakh panchayats have optical fibre connection. The IBA should consider this and conduct an exercise and decide where banks should have a physical presence and where we are able to serve customers even without a physical branch,” she said.

Financial inclusion

“The IBA should take the initiative and complement government’s efforts for financial inclusion and enhancing access to financial services, especially in unserved and under-served areas.”

Stressing on strengthening the UPI, the FM said: “In the payment world today, Indian UPI has actually made a very big impression. A RuPay card which was not as glamorous as a foreign card is now accepted in so many parts of the world, symbolic of India’s futuristic digital payment intentions.”

“FinTech understands that UPI is its backbone. You have to give it its flesh and blood, you have to strengthen UPI,” she said.

The FM commended the banks for executing amalgamation even during the pandemic, without causing disruption in services to customers.

Lauding the efforts of the IBA for having come together for establishment of the National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd. and India Debt Resolution Company Ltd. she said the NARCL was not a bad bank. “It is a formulation which is intended to clean up banks’ assets and dispose of NPAs in a speedy manner. Banks are now able to raise money from the market. Hence the burden on the government to recapitalise banks will be less, this is how we want banks to function — a lot more professional, with a changed mindset,” she said.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.