The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India might slow its recruitment process for the next 2-3 years, revealed a top official from the bank.
As stated by the Managing Director of the bank, A. Krishna Kumar, the bank is up to maintaining the employee strength at current levels even as it keeps expansion programmes in mind. “We will see the extent of people who are retiring from the bank from all levels. So to that (extent) we may look at replenishing that stock. We will not try to increase. Right now, we have 2.23 lakh people working with us,” said Mr. Kumar.
The employee strength of the bank might fall from 2.23 lakh to 2.2 lakh By March 2014, he informed further. So the bank will try to keep the figure constant between 2.2 and 2.23 lakh over the next few years.
A reduction in staff all of a sudden might affect other activities of the bank, but it would not increase the staff so much that the productivity and expense becomes an issue for the bank, told Kumar at a press conference held on 19 February 2014.
According to the information given by SBI, the head count reduced by nearly 5,000 between March and December 2013. For the first nine months of the current financial year, the bank spent Rs. 17,225 crore for its staff expenses, up 35 per cent over the same period last year.
A report from RBI released last year said that SBI ranks below the national average when it comes to business and profit per employee. As per data on the Indian banking sector, SBI’s business per employee in 2012-13 was Rs 9.43 crore, which is a considerable down as compared with the aggregate for all other banks at Rs 12.13 crore.
While replying to a query, Mr. Kumar informed that the corporate credit offtake in the current quarter may not be attractive given the economic conditions of the country. He said, “There is reasonably good offtake in retail lending and housing loans. Probably even by March 2014, we don’t see much offtake in corporate. But we will see fairly good offtake in retail and agriculture”.
On the bank’s ATM operation system, Mr. Kumar said that they are waiting for the RBI’s decision on the proposal of charging customers for using ATMs of other banks. He said further that the ATM operations break even only after there are 100-125 transactions a day and SBI-owned ATMs record 225-250 hits on an average per day across the country.