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Monday, Feb 28, 2005

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SBT to be fully networked soon

Mony K. Mathew

Thiruvananthapuram , Feb. 27

THE core banking solution (CBS) network of the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) covering all branches is targeted to be in place within the next one year.

As of now, 78 branches have been brought under the CBS network and the number is slated to touch 100 before March 31, according to Mr S. John, Deputy General Manager, Computerisation.

He said SBT's network was being integrated to that of the State Bank of India (SBI) and its other associate banks. This requires a total switchover from the bank's existing software platform to that of SBI, which has adopted the Windows-based B@ncs24 software developed by SMS Australia and customised in India by TCS.

He said that more than 4,000 branches of the SBI and almost an equal number of branches of the seven associate banks are getting networked under a single massive system and this calls for business process re-engineering at the banks' level. And, SBT has started the exercise some time ago.

Mr John pointed out that all major operations will soon be shifted to back-office and the branches will eventually be functioning as marketing outlets. Currently, a good chunk of major customers have taken to the ATM route for transactions cutting on the need to visit the branches regularly.

SBT has installed 252 ATMs as of date and it is planning to install 37 more this year. These ATMs are inter-linked to more than 8,000 ATMs of the SBI group.

Mr John said the bank had launched a programme for re-orientation of the staff to the new software and it has started training centres in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam and temporary training cells at Kozhikode and Chennai.

The bank's first back-office facility will start functioning in Thiruvananthapuram in a couple of days and this will comprise Small Enterprises Credit Cell and Retail Assets Central Processing Centre.

The other zonal offices of the bank at Kottayam, Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Chennai, too, will soon have the facility, Mr John added.

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