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Tackling bad debts is priority, says SBI's incoming head Rajnish Kumar

He also assured that the asset quality numbers would look much better than in the past

Reuters  |  Mumbai 

Rajnish Kumar
Rajnish Kumar

Tackling is the priority for State Bank of India, its newly appointed said on Thursday, but India's largest bank will not shy away from opportunities to grow, including in lending.

India's state-run have been battered by bad loans, and SBI, which accounts for more than a fifth of India's banking assets, saw rise after it absorbed five subsidiary this year.

said had tackled issues that came as a result of that deal and asset quality numbers would "look much better than in the past".

"We are already in discussions on how we revive credit growth, how we resolve the (non-performing assets). That discussion, we will try to bring it to a conclusion very quickly. And you will see some changes," he said at a press conference at SBI's Mumbai headquarters.

The bank, which has more than 400 million customers, is considering having separate senior executives to deal with and lending, to avoid having too many top managers focused on

Despite the focus on troubled assets, would continue to chase growth, Kumar said, describing lending opportunities as "unlimited".

"There is definitely a change in the underwriting standards... We will be much more cautious," he said.

"Sometimes people equate it with risk aversion - but let me tell you it is not risk aversion. We are still looking for opportunities in financing good projects"

Kumar takes over on Oct 7 from Arundhati Bhattacharya, who implemented major reforms during her four years at the helm and became one of India's most high-profile executives.

First Published: Thu, October 05 2017. 15:06 IST