New Delhi: State Bank of India (SBI), the country's biggest lender, is planning to open 300 branches across the nation in the current financial year.
The lender currently has 22,405 branches across the country and 235 foreign branches and offices.
"We are looking to expand our digital operations. And when it comes to physical (banking), we intend to add about 300 branches in the current (financial) year, depending on where these are required," SBI chairman Dinesh Khara said in a recent interaction with analysts.
He said the bank is also looking at having more business correspondents.
"We are understanding what the customer needs are, and accordingly are providing vehicles that will help us serve them better," he said.
"So, with this kind of footprint, what we're more interested in is deepening relationships with existing franchises, and sweating the assets we already have," SBI Managing Director (retail business and operations) Alok Kumar Choudhary said.
"Somebody is building an asset, we already have an asset and we're trying to sweat it out. So, our strategies will have to be different, because somebody who is already 216 years old, with all systems, governance, etc, in place will have different priorities than someone who is new to the industry," he said.
Khara said the bank's Net Interest Margin (NIM) would be about 3.5 per cent in the ongoing fiscal.
"I expect a 3.47 percent NIM and our effort should be maintain that kind of level," he said.
SBI reported its highest-ever quarterly profit in the first quarter of the current fiscal at Rs 16,884 crore driven by a fall in non-performing assets, higher loan growth and higher interest rate.