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SBI,ICICI Bank have room for rate cuts: PNB chief

Without naming the State Bank of India and the ICICI Bank,India's third largest lender Punjab National Bank Chairman K C Chakrabarty said there is ‘headroom for rate cuts’ for the two banks.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: April 4, 2009 4:31:29 pm

Without naming the State Bank of India and the ICICI Bank,India’s third largest lender Punjab National Bank Chairman K C Chakrabarty said there is ‘headroom for rate cuts’ for the two banks.

“There is always headroom for interest rate cuts. Every month our technical committee meets,we only decide when the asset-liability committee recommends,” he told reporters after inaugurating its second micro finance branch.

The banker took a dig at the country’s top two banks in terms of balance sheet size,the State Bank of India and private lender ICICI Bank. He said PNB is the strongest bank in the country with lowest prime lending rate at 11.50 per cent.

“My prime lending rate is 75 basis points lower than the largest bank in the country and 350 basis points lower than the second largest bank in the country. There is headroom for rate cuts that side,” the chief of public sector bank said.

The bank inaugurated its second micro finance branch in Delhi (also in India) at Deoli village near Khanpur in south Delhi. The first branch was started last year at Mukundpur near Azadpur in north Delhi.

“(All India,) 20 micro finance branches we are going to open (in current fiscal year). In Delhi,at least two more to cover the four corners,” Chakrabarty said adding the idea is to have “dedicated branches” for “smaller people” who tend to get “crowded out” in regular branches.

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