State Bank of India (SBI) is set to open 400 new branches across the country in the current financial year, announced Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara. Despite the rise of digital transactions, Khara affirmed the necessity of physical branches for services such as advisory and wealth management. "Somebody asked me if 89 per cent of digital and 98 per cent of transactions were happening outside the branch, whether the branch is required anymore. My answer is yes. It is still required because there are newer areas which are emerging,” Khara told PTI.

Strategic Location Selection

SBI, which currently has 22,542 branches nationwide as of March 2024, will strategically identify locations with emerging opportunities for these new branches. Last fiscal, the bank opened 137 branches, including 59 in rural areas, according to PTI.

"We will be identifying locations where the opportunity exists, and in those locations, we plan to open branches. Almost 400 branches we plan to add this year," he said.

Subsidiary Monetization Plans

Discussing the monetization of subsidiaries, Khara indicated that SBI would wait for further operational scale-up to enhance valuation before listing them. "The subsidiaries which would be eligible for this kind of route will be essentially our SBI General and maybe at some stage SBI Payment Services, but as of now, we don't have any such plan," Khara noted. He emphasized that scaling operations would ensure better returns for SBI.

Investment in Subsidiaries

During the fiscal year ended March 2024, SBI infused Rs 489.67 crore in SBI General Insurance Company Ltd., which saw its net profit rise by 30.4 per cent to Rs 240 crore. SBI's stake in the company slightly decreased due to ESOP allotments. Meanwhile, SBI Payment Services, with a 74 per cent stake held by SBI, reported a net profit decline to Rs 144.36 crore. The company remains a major player in the merchant acquiring business, with over 33.10 lakh merchant payment acceptance touchpoints as of March 2024.

2024-06-23T08:29:27Z dg43tfdfdgfd