Terming the transformation of banking in the next 10 years as a "phygital", Dinesh Khara, chairperson of State Bank of India, said that India's largest public sector bank will be a mix of both physical and digital banking "given the variety of customers and the kind of geographies we serve."
Speaking at an exclusive interaction with Business Today TV’s Managing Editor Siddharth Zarabi at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting at Davos on Tuesday, Khara said that even during the COVID-19 lockdown, 22,000 branches of the bank were functioning. He also said that digital transactions are at 77 per cent currently and that the bank conducts 15,000 transactions per second, without divulging more information on the numbers.
"We have seen capacity utilisation in the economy improving compared to pre-pandemic levels. It is now at 72 per cent. If the demand is sustained, this augurs well for India. The supply chain disruption in China is India's opportunity," Khara added.
Further, on the de-leveraging of companies in the near future, Khara said that "corporates have de-leveraged themselves a lot in the last few years. But, when it comes to SMEs, I'd think interest rate cost is 8 per cent-12 per cent for them."
Additionally, he also said that fixed deposit rates might witness some kind of an increase, however, he also added that "much of it will depend upon the excess liquidity which is there in the system, which again is the function of the kind of credit demand you receive going forward."
On the question of fintech collaboration with PSBs, Khara added that "the way I look at fintech's role is it offers an opportunity for collaboration. For an entity like ours, we are always looking at fintech as solution providers and not as competitors."
This year, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos is being held from May 22 to May 26 and is witnessing the participation of nearly 300 government leaders including 50 heads of state or government.
The annual summit, which was originally scheduled to be held in January, had to be postponed due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
Geneva-based WEF, which describes itself as an international organisation for public-private cooperation, has been hosting its annual meeting in Davos every January for nearly 50 years, but it could not take place in a physical format in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the 2022 edition had to be postponed from January to May.
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