Reviving credit offtake a task left unfinished: Arundhati Bhattacharyahttps://indianexpress.com/article/business/banking-and-finance/reviving-credit-offtake-a-task-left-unfinished-arundhati-bhattacharya-4878317/

Reviving credit offtake a task left unfinished: Arundhati Bhattacharya

Total credit offtake grew just about 5 per cent in the year to March, the slowest pace in more than six decades.

Arundhati Bhattacharya, whose term as SBI chief ended on Friday, at the SBI headquarters in Mumbai
on Friday. Prashant Nadkar

Arundhati Bhattacharya, who ended her four-year term as the chairman of State Bank of India on Friday, said reviving credit offtake and digital transformation are some of the major tasks left unfinished. “Even today, credit growth is not where we wanted it to be,” Bhattacharya, the first woman to have led the country’s largest bank, said at a media conference on her last day in office. “So, that’s an unfinished agenda.

And, I think the incoming chairman’s already stated (that) it will be his agenda to take that forward.” On Thursday, incoming chairman Rajnish Kumar, who will take over as State Bank of India chairman on October 7, has said improving credit growth, resolution of stressed assets and digital transformation are three major areas he will give priority to in the coming months. Total credit offtake grew just about 5 per cent in the year to March, the slowest pace in more than six decades.

Bhattacharya predicted better days ahead for the bank after a spike in stressed debt in the June quarter due to a merger of its five subsidiaries with it. “I really hope going forward you will see the results of very hard work we had done in last few years that you’ll appreciate a number of changes we have brought within which probably are not reflected but will definitely come in near future,” Bhattacharya said.

She also cited a big digital upgradation project SBI is undertaking as another unfinished agenda. The project which was to be over by July has been delayed as its scope was expanded, Bhattacharya said, hoping for it to be delivered in a month or so. Bhattacharya said she is not looking to take up another position in the banking industry. “I don’t think that I will continue in the area of banking but obviously I’m not going to hang up my boots,” she said. “There is so much of stuff to do. If you have the energy and willingness to do I think we can. So definitely, I will be around and I will be active, may not be directly in banking but yes I will be definitely doing some things.”