O N T E N T S
but not out
The poor offtake of retail loans has pulled down
After a sharp reduction in the last three years,
NPAs are creeping back into banks balance sheets
the elephant dance
Interview with SBI Chairman O P Bhatt on his efforts
at re-energising the bank
Seven top bankers discuss 2009: Are banks in
India ready for it?
R for restraint
Cases of coercion and violence are forcing banks
to soften their approach towards debt recovery
RBI has softened its stand on co-operative banks,
but the guidelines are still strict
All the data you wanted on banks
vote for the future
distinguished jury picks State Bank of India Chairman O P Bhatt
as the BUSINESS STANDARD BANKER OF THE YEAR
off some stiff competition, State Bank of India Chairman O
P Bhatt has bagged the BS Banker of the Year award for 2006-07.
Chaired by R Ravimohan, managing director and region head,
South Asia of Standard & Poors, a jury comprising
Pravin Kadle, managing director, Tata Capital, Anil Singhvi,
managing director ICAN Advisors, and Ashvin Parekh, head of
financial practices, Ernst & Young, concluded that Bhatt
deserved the title for the initiatives he has taken to position
the countrys largest bank to compete with private bank
challengers which operate with much more operational freedom.
Sanjay Nayar and HDFC Banks Aditya Puri were close competitors
but Bhatts promise of transforming SBI into Indias
bank of the future tipped the scales in his favour. ICICI
Bank and Axis Bank were not considered as K V Kamath won the
award last year and P J Nayak in the previous year.
Head of Financial Practices, Ernst & Young
In SBI, the leadership has to make the elephant dance
though SBI was not at the top in any of the financial parameters
considered, the vote was one for the future with the bank under
Bhatts stewardship considered best positioned to make a difference
to all the stakeholders. Heres a synopsis of the views expressed
by jury members during the course of the discussion.
RAVIMOHAN: We put different weightages to parameters
such as size, return on assets, net interest margin, capitalisation,
asset quality etc. To obtain the dynamics, we put 20 per cent weightage
to size and 5 per cent to margin. In another extreme, we put more
weight to margin and less to size. What was interesting was that
in almost all the permutations and combinations, HDFC Bank kept
coming up in the first two-three spots and SBI in the last 10. But
Ashvin thinks SBI is the best qualitatively.
PAREKH: Normally we find two sets of initiatives
strategy and vision. Whatever name it is given, it will account
for 30-40 per cent of the impact. You got to have a leader who is
going to take care of the core aspects of banking and, in a huge
organisation like SBI, the leadership has to make the elephant dance.
I thought Bhatt had to undo a lot of things of the past.
evaluated the performance of SBI where we ascribed 25 per cent weight
to growth, 30 per cent to profitability, 40 per cent to efficiency,
and 5 per cent to liquidity (including capital adequacy). The result
was that SBI was the 10th best, but HDFC was surprisingly 11th best.
Last year, SBI performed well. The second is the whole issue of
subsidiaries. This leadership is handling it in a far more matured
KADLE: What we have found is that SBI had earlier never
really used its branch network. Now they are really using it aggressively.
They have started in the right direction.
SINGHVI: I support Ashvin as SBI is now perhaps looking
at transforming into a bank to reckon with. Earlier it was a me-too
kind of thing. In the last 12 months if they have done enough work
and the fruits of that are coming now, then Bhatt should qualify