Mumbai : On the back of growing GDP and above-normal monsoon, Karnataka Bank Limited (KBL) like many other entities is optimistic about the future. The bank aims to grow at an average rate of 16%, with 14% growth in deposit and 18% jump in advances. To support this growth, the bank is planning to add 40 new branches and 250 ATM centres. This would mean that the bank will have around 770 branches and 1500 ATMs in its kitty.

“We are well prepared to encash on the good growth opportunities that are going to be unleashed soon by identifying growth centres throughout India,” M S Mahabaleshwara Bhat, chief general manager, Karnataka Bank Ltd said.

Bhat said that KBL would be focussing more on the retail side of business rather than corporate side, adding this would help KBL grow at a faster pace than what it has targeted.

KBL is also ready with its 2020 vision. It hopes to grow its business from current Rs. 84,500 crore to Rs. 1,80,000 crore in the next five years. Apart from southern states, the bank is focussing on states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and to a certain extent West Bengal.

Commenting on the NPA issue, Bhat said, “I do not believe that we will be in a position to resolve the NPAs issue completely. The question is what should be the tolerance level?”

Bhat also stressed that the point 5% slippage on a yearly basis is definitely tolerable and any bank will be in a position to handle that situation.

Bhat added, “even now when industry is reeling under NPA pressure, our Gross Non Performing Assets (GNPA) is just at 3.41 % and our Net Non Performing Assets is 2.21 %. Going forward, we have set our eyes on bringing down our GNPA to below 3 % and NNPA to below 2 percent.”

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