State Bank of India (SBI) will expand its footprints in one lakh more villages in the next two years, mounting a further challenge to its competitors.
"We are not facing any competition from the private or MNC banks. In fact, they are facing competition from us," SBI Chairman O P Bhatt told reporters on Saturday night after launching the new online trading platform 'ez-trade' for its customers.
Bhatt was replying to a question on competition from the private and MNCs banks in the absence of any specific proposal for the merger of associates with the parent SBI.
He said the SBI will connect one lakh more villages in the next two years with the banking services to further enhance its network to tap the growing rural economy.
On the issue of merger of associate banks with the SBI and granting of autonomy to them, he said "there is no specific proposal as such for the merger of associates with the SBI at present. As far as the issue of autonomy is concern, the associates are autonomous institutions."
Asked about credit card operations, he said though private sector ICICI Bank has more number of credit card holders than SBI, the government-run lender is growing faster than other rivals in this segment
Replying to a question on the Prime Minister's 10-point social charter for corporates, Bhatt said, "we fully agree with the prime minister's advice on the issue. As far as SBI is concerned it is spending one per cent of its profit every year for community development."
Referring to the Basel-II norms, he said the country's largest commercial bank is fully prepared to meet the global norms which will come into force from next year.
Earlier, talking about the 'ez-trade SBI', he said the bank has a lot of hope from the online trading facility for the high-end customers.
The state-of-the-art platform will cater to every trading need and offer a world class experience of online investing from anyplace and at anytime.
"With this new facility we will beat our competitors with the active support of the young and upwardly mobile customers," he said.
"This service provide the customer three-in-one account which is an integrated platform of bank, demat and online trading accounts for convenient and paper-free trading experience," Bhatt said.