The asset quality situation at State Bank of India (SBI) remains healthy and the faster-than expected economic recovery may limit the impact to lenders’ balance sheets, the bank’s Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara said on January 28.
It can be noted that in the bi-annual Financial Stability Report (FSR) released last month, the RBI had expected banks’ non-performing assets to deteriorate further because of the pandemic and asked them to be cautious.
“I would also mention that the asset quality book of the bank remains healthy,” Khara told reporters on the sidelines of an event. The macroeconomic situation is not the same as it was in April, and with the ease in restrictions post lockdown, we have seen a recovery process which led to growth in different pockets, he said.
He acknowledged that the macro-economy had seen difficulties at a point of time and the cash flows for the corporates had also been impacted. Better treatment for COVID-19 patients and the arrival of vaccines have also improved confidence which is pushing economic recovery, he said.
Hinting that the cash flows for the corporates have improved because of interventions like the ones the government has taken, Khara answered a specific question on asset quality saying, “These are the positives which we have seen. This gives the confidence that perhaps situation may not turn out to be as bad.”Khara, who took charge as the chairman of SBI in October 2020, said it is important for the lenders to keep in touch with their borrowers at this crucial time to help and counsel them as and when required.