Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, May 25, 2002
Money & Banking
SBI may announce second VRS
MUMBAI, May 24
STATE Bank of India (SBI) may go in for a second voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) with the implementation of new technology initiatives over the next three years, Mr Y. Radhakrishnan, SBI Managing Director, said on Friday.
Mr Radhakrishnan told newspersons here that there will be a redundancy of 30 to 40 per cent of the staff with the implementation of new technology plans. There will also be redeployment and retraining of staff, he said.
SBI is the second bank to announce its intentions to go in for a second VRS, the first being Bank of India.
In its first VRS offered last year, around 23,500 employees, 10 per cent of the staff, opted for the scheme.
``The giant is on the move,'' said Mr Radhakrishnan. ``SBI handles 40 per cent of the country's economy and these new technology initiatives will improve the efficiency of the bank by 20 per cent.''
SBI plans to invest about Rs 500 crore for its seven major plans. This include Internet banking through a tie-up with Broad Vision and Satyam. About 150 branches already have Internet banking facility, he said.
Mr Radhkrishnan was speaking to newspersons at a function organised to inaugurate an ATM management centre of the National Cash Register (NCR) Corporation. NCR manages about 250 ATMs for SBI and about 125 ATMs for Corporation Bank. ``We will be starting 1,500 more ATMS in another year, which will all be online and networked. Right now we have the largest number of ATMs in the country with 1,081 ATMs,'' said Mr Radhkrishnan.
SBI plans to sell its ATM cards aggressively with an aim to make each one of its 90 million customers a card holder.
Networking of all the 1,500 branches all over the country is on the cards for which SBI has tied up with Datacraft, an MNC. This network is to be the backbone of SBI to enable all banking transactions. For technology support for its asset and liability management, the bank has tied up with Oracle. SBI has also recently tied up with Tata Consultancy Services for core banking solutions.
The functioning paradigm of SBI will change with the wide area network and shared operation centre in place, said Mr Radhakrishnan.
``Outsourcing is the name of the game. By outsourcing to strategic partners, we will reduce considerable amount of time in setting up operations,'' mentioned Mr Radhakrishnan, announcing the numerous tie-ups for the new host operations.
Plans for an IT subsidiary are on, he said. ``It will be a 100 per cent SBI owned subsidiary with strategic alliances.''
Railway reservation for long distance trains will soon be done through SBI ATM cards, he said. Railway ticketing is already in place in Mumbai at SBI ATMs. There will soon be facilities for utility payments also through the same.
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