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SBI creates separate vertical to drive MSME, agri finance

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, SBI has been at the forefront in providing relief measures to existing SME borrowers.

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Last Updated: Jun 02, 2020, 04.09 PM IST
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The DSHs will also play an important role in strengthening the reach of CSPs and ensure improvement in quality and availability of services rendered to customers.

NEW DELHI: In a major restructuring exercise, State Bank of India has created a separate Financial Inclusion and Micro Market (FI&MM) vertical with a focus on rural and semi urban areas to improve customer experience.

Under this newly launched vertical, the bank will offer loans mainly for agriculture as well as allied activities, and micro and small enterprises, SBI said in a statement on Tuesday.

About 8,000 branches in rural and semi urban areas have been identified for providing specialised services to micro segment, including micro credit for small businesses and farmers, it said.

The thrust is also to improve service quality and availability of banking services through the bank's vast network of over 63,000 customer service points in rural, semi urban, urban and metro areas, it said, adding the new vertical will provide a boost to the micro-finance sector.

"Today is an important day in our resolve to ensure that SBI stands with the citizens of the country, across all segments. The key elements of creating the FI&MM vertical are to bring sharper focus to different business lines and improve the quality of interaction with customers at the branch," SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said.

This is an initiative by SBI to cater to financial requirements of people residing in the hinterland of the country, as part of its financial inclusion journey, he added.

"The new FI&MM vertical will provide an opportunity to serve the small business, Agri & allied segment so that they can run their businesses smoothly, especially in the current times of uncertainty. The creation of the FI&MM Vertical was conceived, created and implemented fully in house," Kumar said.

Commenting on the Delhi region, CGM in-charge Vijuy Ronjan said as many as 612 branches spread across four states, including Delhi and Haryana, would fall under the new vertical.

"The initiative will help improve credit delivery to the retail, MSME and agriculture sector in the rural and semi-urban areas of the country. Besides, it will lead to better utilisation of banking correspondent channel. As a result, the goal of financial inclusion and doorstep banking of the government can be given a further push," Ronjan said.

On the first day itself, he said, the circle has disbursed about Rs 7.17 crore to 168 eligible MSME units through the FI&MM vertical under the Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL), part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package.

The statement further said the FI&MM vertical is headed by the bank's deputy managing director Sanjeev Nautiyal at the national level.

To ensure special focus and smooth functioning at the local level, it said, the FI&MM vertical will comprise of a four tiered structure under the Chief General Manager, General Manager, RMs at Regional Business Offices (RBO) and District Sales Hub to strengthen the credit delivery system and improve the turnaround time for quick sanctions and disbursement of small loans.

The primary emphasis will be on consolidating the district level presence which will provide constant sales and recovery support to branches in the FI&MM network, it said.

The DSHs will also play an important role in strengthening the reach of customer service points (CSPs) and ensure improvement in quality and availability of services rendered to customers.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, SBI has been at the forefront in providing relief measures to existing SME borrowers, such as 10 per cent of fund based working capital limits by way of CCECL (Common COVID-19 Emergency Credit Line), easing of working capital finance along with moratorium on term loans and working capital.

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