LENDING & CREDIT | Cesar Tordesillas, India

Syndicate Bank to focus more on retail banking, SME loans

Syndicate Bank is looking to intensify its fee income, retail and SME loans to boost its balance sheet.

The bank's Chiarman and Managing Director M G Sanghvi said that the bank aims to improve its retail loan book by improving service and reducing the loan processing time to 7 days.

The retail advances stood at Rs 24,725 crore or 22% of the total advances book.

"We plan to do away with third party guarantee in homes loans to attract customers," he said.

The bank plans to add 300 new branches to its existing network of 2710 branches. It also plans to increaseautomated teller machines by 500. It currently has 1210 ATMs.

He said that the bank has targeted a credit growth of 18-19% and deposit growth of 15-16 this fiscal year.

Syndicate Bank had reported a credit growth of 13.7% and deposit growth of 16.4% in 2011-12. In the same yearits net profit rose 25% to Rs 1313.4 crore.

The bank has decided to enter into strategic tie-up with asset management companies to sell their mutual fundschemes. Also it is in talks with life insurance companies for distribution of insurance products.

"Distribution of both insurance and mutual funds will help us boost fee income. We are aiming at an annual growth of 30% this fiscal year," said Sanghvi.

The bank's fee income rose 17.5% to Rs 1075.8 crore in fiscal year 2010-11. As of now, the bank does not sellmutual fund schemes to its customers unlike many private and public sector banks which have tied up with many AMCs for distribution.

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