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SBI focus is on MSME Funding: Pandit

Mr. Ajoy Kumar Pandit is deputy general manager (DGM) and head of the State Bank of India in Visakhapatnam. In an exclusive interview with VIS News Service, Mr. Pandit talks about SBI’s plans and focus areas in the region, post the merger of five associate banks of SBI with India’s largest lender.
According to Mr. Pandit, the bank’s clear focus is to provide finance to the MSME sector, with its “attractive financing packages”. “Preferential financing at much lower rate of interest for MSME is the answer for the overall development of the country. MSME is involving workers at the grass-root-level and once development takes place at that level you will see more progress and development in almost all the other sectors also,” he says.
“SBI is financing up to Rs.2 crores of loan without any collateral security and this is a boon for the MSME sector. We are also lending at very attractive interest rates to the housing sector, car financing, truck finance, and taxi finance. Let me boldly say that SBI is able to provide any banking service in any sector at very competitive rates. SBI is a global banker competing at the international level and at the same time providing banking services to the smallest of citizen of India. So, every Customer is important to us and for us customer is always the King. With the vast resources at SBI we are also arranging offshore financing for the large borrowers at LIBOR rates,” Mr. Pandit says.
Pay to play
Mr. Pandit said that post-merger, SBI’s customer base in the Country has increased to 42 crores. He further said, in Visakhapatnam Zone there are 310 branches in the three districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam.
He said that while the customer base has increased the SBI is investing more money to serve the customers.
There is a cost of doing business for us. “The bank pays the depositor for deposit on the full amount in his account but almost 40% of the deposits are kept with statutory authorities.
Presently banks cannot afford to serve without any charges to the client. Customer has to appreciate that he pays charges for every service at many points be it insurance, medical service educational organisations or entertainment or hotel bills so why make an issue for banks service charges,” he says.
“Today, SBI is the largest bank with branches spread over every corner of the country. For example, you can deposit money in Visakhapatnam and withdraw the same without cost in Shillong, Meghalaya.
But there is a cost to the SBI for every transaction and if the bank is not recovering it from the customer who will compensate the bank?” Mr. Pandit says. Mr Pandit also suggested to check their mutual funds segment where returns are much higher and do not attract Income Tax.

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