SBI to open 50 more branches in Gujarat by fiscal-end

"We shall be adding 50 more branches by this fiscal-end to the existing network of 1,150 branches in Gujarat," SBI Gujarat Circle Chief General Manager P Nanda Kumaran told reporters here.

Moving towards paperless banking culture, the state-owned lender has proposed to open a separate 24X7 operational Self Service branch.

"We will open a Self Service branch in Ahmedabad before this fiscal-end in one of the non-banked areas of the city, which shall be followed with another such branch in Vadodara," Kumaran said.

The concept of Self Service branch promotes paperless banking culture where automated machines offer routine services like cash deposit, withdrawal, remittances, passbook updates and statements.

The bank has proposed to add 225 ATMs in Gujarat to its existing network of 1,300 machines. It will also install high-end ATMs which provide direct cash deposit facility.

"In order to get rid of disputes arising from envelope -based ATM cash deposits, the bank has decided to introduce direct cash deposit ATMs at seven locations in five major cities of Gujarat," Kumaran said.

The bank has inked an MoU with Gujarat Livelihood Promotion Company for lending Rs 5,000 crore over the next 3 to 5 years with a view to link SHGs, producer groups and the poor with banking channel, he said.

For promoting paperless banking, SBI has decided to expand its Green Channel Counter (GCC) facility in the state. It has also launched 29 multi-functional kiosks in Gujarat that offer paperless banking services to customers.

"In the first phase, SBI has proposed to extend GCC facility in 35 branches. Hundred more branches shall be covered in the second phase, in Ahmedabad and Vadodara," Kumaran said.

As part of its financial inclusion initiative, the banking giant has established a remittance corridor in Surat with smart card facility for the migrant labourers coming to Gujarat from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.

The bank has proposed to roll out the facility in other coastal towns of Gujarat such as Alang, Veraval, Vapi, Umargaon and Hazira.

"In first two months of the roll out of SBI tiny card facility in Surat, we have made remittances of close to Rs 82 crore, and brought nearly one lakh migrant labourers under the banking fold," Kumaran said.

"Our total deposits (in Gujarat) stood at Rs 55,600 crore by January-end, up 14 per cent as compared to last year, while our advances stood at Rs 24,000 crore, including loans of Rs 10,700 crore to the SME segment, a rise of 20 per cent from the year-ago period," he said.

"NRI deposits of the bank stood at Rs 7,200 crore, growing by around Rs 300 crore since the beginning of the current fiscal," a SBI official said.

The bank's home loan portfolio stood at Rs 5,675 crore by January-end, covering close to 1,07,956 customers. 

"The home loans sanctioned in the current fiscal year stood at Rs 2,600 crore, while the housing loan portfolio has grown by Rs 1,000 crore after repayment," Kumaran said.

The bank has signed an MoU with the Gujarat Government to provide financial assistance of Rs 50,000 crore to SME sector over a period of three years. The MoU was signed during the last month's Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

Gujarat Circle has topped amongst the 14 SBI Circles when it comes to performance of gold deposit scheme.

"Gujarat Circle has ranked first amongst the 14 Circles when it comes to performance of the gold deposit scheme. So far, we have been able to garner 140 kg of gold deposits this year," Kumaran said.

He added, "The performance of our bullion scheme, where the traders can repay the loans in precious metals, has also been successful. We have been able to trade in 1,000 kg of bullion this year."

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