State Bank of India chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya on Thursday said bank credit is not picking up despite the seeming revival in the economy, adding that an improvement is not likely before the March quarter.
"Credit pick-up is still tepid and you need to have a longer view. I think credit pick-up is likely to start picking up only in the last quarter of current fiscal," Bhattacharya told PTI on Thursday.
Bank credit growth has been tripping for many months and according to the latest data released by RBI last week, non-food credit inched up to just 7.7 per cent in June against 13 per cent a year ago and 9 per cent in May.
In June, credit to industry rose by a poor 4.1 per cent against that of 10.2 per cent in June, 2014.
"Deceleration in credit growth to industry was observed in all major sub-sectors," RBI had said, adding that advances to the services sector rose 6 per cent as compared to 13.6 per cent in the same month last year.
Bhattacharya was speaking on the sidelines of announcing the entry of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation to invest in equity through SBI Mutual Fund ETFs.
She maintained that investors should look for modes of investment other than bank deposits.
"Bank deposits can not be the only safe and good way of investment and people have to look for other areas of investment. Today, most of the people keep maximum of their investible money in bank deposits," she said.
"We must know how to trust the market and we must know how to operate in the market. If we don't know how to do it in a faster manner then we can go for investing in mutual funds," she added.
The SBI chief hinted that both deposit and lending rates will come down due to the easing cycle which is prevailing at present.
"The deposit rate will come down. Lending rate is currently at a particular level. Still, I do believe that it is an easing cycle and hence I am hopeful that both deposit and lending rates will come down," she said without giving the quantum of the rates coming down.
Asked to comment on NPA, she only said "the stresses are easing on the NPA scenario."