State-owned State Bank of India (SBI) and private major HDFC Bank have jointly bagged the 'Bank of the Year' award at Business Today-Money Today Financial Awards 2020. While this is the second time SBI has won the award, for HDFC Bank, it was sixth year running. The latter has also bagged the 'Best Large Bank' and 'Best Fintech Engagement' award. On the other hand, SBI won the award for 'Best in Rural Outreach'.
Best bank awards in small bank, mid-sized bank and foreign bank categories were conferred to Bandhan Bank, IndusInd Bank and JP Morgan India, respectively. 'Best Innovation award' went to ICICI Bank.
In its 24th edition, the Business Today-Money Today Financial Awards also honoured top performing fintech firms, mutual funds, insurance companies and pension funds.
Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund emerged the 'Best Fund House Overall' and 'Best Fund House Debt'. Axis Mutual Fund won the award for 'Best Fund House Equity'.
HDFC Pension Management was awarded with the 'Best Pension Fund House' tag, while HDFC Short Term Debt Fund and Mirae Asset India Equity Fund were given the 'Best Value Creator Fund Debt' and 'Best Value Creator Fund Equity' awards.
Deepak Agrawal of Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund and Neelesh Surana of Mirae Asset Mutual Fund, won the best fund managers award in debt and equity categories, respectively.
ICICI Lombard General Insurance bagged the award for the 'Best General Insurance Provider'. Life Insurance Corporation was given the 'Best Life Insurance' title. Star Health Insurance was conferred with the 'Best Health Insurance Provider of the Year' award, while Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and ICICI Lombard General Insurance were joint winners in 'Best Motor Insurance Provider of the Year' category.
Perfios won the best fintech award for its value-added services, while Paymate and NeoGrowth won best fintech awards in payments and lending categories, respectively.
The awards were conferred by Chief Guest R Gandhi, Former Deputy Governor of RBI. Delivering his keynote address on 'New Vistas in Indian Banking', Gandhi said retail credit demand will continue to grow as India moves to low inflation economy. "Going forward India will have low inflation. Natuarlly, interest rates will also come down, so will returns from savings instruments. This is making people borrow more and enjoy goods and services now rather than investing in savings instruments. Many countries have followed that pattern. It is now happening in India," said Gandhi.
Rajeev Dubey, Editor, Business Today talked about how banking industry is going through a litmus test with a high level of non-performing assets and is readying for a big leap.
"There is massive consolidation in the public sector banking space, which will reduce the number of public banks from 27 to 12. Of that, there will be 7-8 banks with over Rs 10 lakh crore assets size. That will take banking to the big boys club," he said.
The award ceremony, presented by Security and Intelligence Services (India), began with an insightful panel discussion on 'Finding the Right Asset Mix in 2020'.
Lovaii Navlakhi, Founder And CEO, International Money Matters said investors should avoid the greed to earn extra income when they invest in debt instruments. "The objective to invest in fixed income is safety of principal and inflation-beating returns. But, people focus more on earning higher returns. The intention to make extra money is what causes harm," he said.
He advised to maintain a portfolio that has something for safety, returns and also liquidity.
Somasundaram PR, Managing Director - India, World Gold Council shed light on an unusual trend. "The gold reserves by global central banks are just below the peak seen around 1965. They have bought 650 tonnes gold in just last two years. It doesn't seem to come down," he said.
Swarup Mohanty, CEO, Mirae Asset Global Investments (India) advised to keep it simple and cut mistakes. "Simplicity is most powerful investing tool when it comes to asset allocation," he said.
Meanwhile, Sunil Singhania, Founder, Abakkus Asset Manager LLP sees India to stand out in Asia as the world grapples with coronavirus. He sees value in sectors such as IT, pharma, consumption, infra, chemicals and metals.
The knowledge partner for the Best Bank and Fintech category was KPMG, Policy Bazaar was the knowledge partner for the insurance awards, while ICRA Online was the data partner for the mutual funds awards.