The Finance Ministry reviews public sector banks’ performance in FY22

The Finance Ministry reviewed the operations of all the public sector banks (PSBs) for FY22 on Monday.

The Finance Ministry deeply observed the implementation status of various government-sponsored financial inclusion, MSME, and agricultural support schemes.

The meeting went on for the whole day, and it was chaired by Bhagwat Karad, the Minister of State of Finance.

A Chief Executive of PSB said, “Today’s meeting was a general performance review, and no specific directions came from the DFS Secretary or the minister.”

The first half of the meeting included the assessment of the operating performance of each bank against the benchmark of best performing private sector banks. The criteria chosen for the meeting were credit growth, NPA management, deposits growth, etc.

The meeting was attended by chief executives and executive directors of all PSBs.

Last fiscal year, most public sector banks performed well in terms of operating profits and bottom-line growth. Most PSBs had a high provision coverage ratio for their non-performing assets (NPA). Due to the high provision coverage ratio, most recoveries are projected to go into their profit and loss accounts directly.

On the subject of the capital raising front, some sources said that capital raising is not an issue for any PSB this year. All the PSBs are well capitalized to take care of the credit growth of 15-20%.

The meeting also discussed the progress on the bank-specific agenda under EASE 5.0. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched it on June 8.

Under the Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE) 5.0, there will be a common PSB reforms agenda and a bank-specific strategic 3-year roadmap, which must be based on individual banks’ business priorities.

EASE 5.0 will now focus on digital customer experience and integrated and inclusive banking since it is very early to project an individual 3-year roadmap. Its emphasis will be on supporting small businesses and agriculture.

The meeting also held discussions about establishing 75 digital banking units, recommendations of a working group on business correspondents, and coverage of unbanked villages with brick and mortar branches.

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