He was addressing customers and the public after inaugurating the Sagarnagar branch in the city on Thursday morning. He said that during the past 16-18 months the bank had added more than 600 branches. "We have 2,500 branches at present and in the next one or two years we will add 1,100 branches more. Many of the branches will be outside AP and Telangana. It does not mean we will neglect the two states, our stronghold, but we will focus more on other states. The bank can no longer remain confined to the two Telugu states. It has to emerge stronger and face competition," he noted. He said AP and Telangana accounted for 51 per cent of the business of the bank at present, but it would come down to 35 per cent, with the growth in other states. "Ideally, we want to have one-thirds of our business in AP and Telangana and the rest in other states," Rajendran said.
He said the bank would focus more on retail lending. He said the agricultural debt waiver schemes of the AP Government and Telangana had hit the bank in both states, and the lending had been affected.
Referring to the NPAs (non-performing assets, or bad loans), he said bank staff were working to recover them. "Our employees are peacefully exerting pressure on the borrowers to pay back the loans. There is nothing improper about it. We are employing Gandhian methods. We are not sending goondas in the guise of recovery agents like the private banks," he said.
Rajendran, who is retiring soon, said, "The worst period is over for the bank. We are at present doing business of Rs 2,85,000 crores, of which Rs 1,30,000 crores is advances. We will cross the Rs 5,00,000 crore mark in the next few years."
Source : Thehindubusinessline