SBI plans to open 400 branches in FY25: Chairman Khara

The country's biggest lender opened 137 branches last fiscal. Of the total, 59 new rural branches were launched.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 10:23 IST

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New Delhi: As part of the network expansion plan, State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to open 400 branches across the country in the current financial year.

The country's biggest lender opened 137 branches last fiscal. Of the total, 59 new rural branches were launched.

"Somebody asked me if 89 per cent of digital and 98 per cent transactions were happening outside the branch, whether the branch is required anymore. My answer is yes. It is still required because there are newer areas which are emerging," SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara told PTI in an interview.

There are certain services like most of the advisory and wealth services that can be offered only from the branch, he said.

"We will be identifying locations where the opportunity exists, and in those locations, we plan to open branches. Almost 400 branches we plan to add this year," he said.

SBI has a network of 22,542 branches across the country as of March 2024.

Asked about the monetisation of subsidiaries, Khara said that SBI would wait for them to further scale up their operations before listing them.

Scaling up their operation will increase valuation and ensure better returns for the parent SBI.

When it comes to subsidiaries, their monetisation would be through the capital market, the chairman said.

"The subsidiaries which would be eligible for this kind of route will be essentially our SBI General and may be at some stage SBI Payment Services, but as of now, we don't have any such plan," he added.

"Maybe, we would like to scale them up a little more, and then we will think in terms of going to the capital market for monetising our holding in these companies. But not in the current financial year," Khara said.

During the year ended March 2024, the bank infused additional capital of Rs 489.67 crore in SBI General Insurance Company Ltd. The company has also allotted ESOP to employees. Consequently, the bank's stake has decreased from 69.95 per cent to 69.11 per cent.

SBI General Insurance reported a 30.4 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 240 crore for the financial year ended March 2024. The non-life subsidiary of State Bank of India had recorded a net profit of Rs 184 crore in the previous financial year.

SBI Payment Services Pvt Ltd, which is in the merchant acquiring business, is 74 per cent owned by SBI, while the remaining stake is with Hitachi Payment Services.

SBI Payments is one of the largest acquirers in the country, with more than 33.10 lakh merchant payment acceptance touchpoints as of March 2024, including 13.67 lakh POS machines deployed across geographies.

The company's net profit declined to Rs 144.36 crore for the year ended March 2024 against Rs 159.34 crore in the previous year.

Published 23 June 2024, 10:23 IST

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