SBI to focus on cost reduction, workforce reskilling

New Delhi: State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Rajnish Kumar on Tuesday said that the bank will focus on cost reduction, rationalisation, and reskilling of its workforce.

Speaking at the 65th Annual General Meeting (AGM), Kumar said: “The focus while going forward will be on cost reduction, rationalisation, and reskilling of workforce, improving staff productivity, and redeployment of workforce from admin offices to sales roles.”

He also said that the bank will maintain a constant vigil on the emerging stress and will take proactive action to help our customers and maintain asset quality.

Further, the bank will also institute ‘work from anywhere’ (WFA) infrastructure to facilitate work from any location, while taking care of the social aspects of work-life balance. The measure is expected to save Rs 1,000 crore through cost optimisation and will be a key component of the lender’s business continuity during the times of COVID-19, Kumar told the shareholders.

The Chairman also highlighted the bank’s emphasis on the MSME segment. He said that in line with opportunities created by the Atmanirbhar Bharat package for MSMEs, the bank has set up a ‘Financial Inclusion & Micro Market’ vertical to derive value in micro markets, with a cost-efficient business model. The SME Revamp at the bank was already under process, he said.

“In FY2021, branches with significant SME business have been covered under new SME credit delivery model. This will help the Bank re-establish its focus and connect better with the SME customers. Cash flow-based lending models will be used, leading to efficient financing and help lower the delinquency,” he said.

Kumar said that due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, economic activities around the world and in India have been severely impacted and the economic growth estimates for 2020 had turned negative and hence FY2021 will be challenging year for the SBI like any other bank or financial institution.

“However, your bank is well prepared to deal with such challenges. A strong liability franchise with a customer base of over 44 crore, a diversified loan portfolio with strong capabilities to originate, digital Leadership across channels, and legacy stress fully identified and suitably provided are some of the key strengths that your bank will rely upon in the post-COVID scenario,” Kumar said.

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