Eyes 20% growth in deposits, 22% in advances
Union Bank of India, one of the country's leading public sector banks, aims to scale up its international banking operations.
The PSU bank, which currently has a full-fledged branch at Hong Kong and representative offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Abu Dhabi and London, intends to set up a subsidiary in London as well as branches in Sydney, Belgium and Dubai. The bank has received the requisite permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the purpose.
"To set up these overseas branches, we have applied to the local authorities. We will go ahead with the plan as and when we get the approval from the local authorities”, MV Nair, chairman and managing director (CMD) of Union Bank told reporters here.
The bank clocked a total pan-India business of Rs 3,55,000 crore in 2010-11 which included Rs 2.10 lakh crore of deposits, the remaining being advances. The public sector bank is eyeing a growth of 20 per cent in deposits and 22 per cent in advances in this fiscal.
It also intends to ramp up its branch network in the current fiscal. The bank has around 3,000 branches at present and 400 more branches are set to be opened in 2011-12.
The ATM network of the bank is also set to grow from about 2,700 to 5,000 in this fiscal. Besides, Union Bank has planned to take up its network of business correspondents agents from 6,900 to 20,000 by 2013.
On the recruitment front, the bank CMD said, we have recently recruited 3,400 people at various levels and are going to hire around 3,000 employees over the next six months. The bank's total employee strength presently stands at over 29,000.
Besides, Union Bank, as a part of its Business Process Re-Engineering initiative, has started 'Project Nav Nirman' on pilot basis to set new benchmarks in customer service.
"Our aim is to be the number one retail bank in terms of customer service. The project has been started on a pilot basis in three branches in Mumbai and this will be extended to 50 branches across 13 centres in six months and 250 branches in 12 months”, Nair stated.
He stated that the bank laid a great emphasis on augmenting agricultural finance. "Our first priority is agricultural finance. This year, we have recruited 700 agricultural officers and have posted them to rural areas”, he said.
Commenting on the bank's performance in Orissa, Nair said, “The bank did a business of Rs 7,039 crore including deposits worth Rs 4,613 crore and advances of Rs 2,426 crore. We have 78 branches in Orissa and we intend to take it up to 100 in one and a half years. The bank has also decided to set up its second regional office in the state which is likely to come up at Sambalpur.”
On financial inclusion, he said the bank has been allotted 30 villages with a population of more than 2,000 and it has already covered 10 villages in Jajpur district through mobile van banking. Banking services will be extended to 16 other villages through the Banking Correspondent model by July this year while the balance four branches will be covered by opening of new branches by September 2011.