SBI, he undisputed leader in some sectors
By Joseph Samson
Nov 19, 2009
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Low interest rate loan schemes launched a few months back have led State Bank of India to top growth charts in various sectors. These sectors include home, auto, small and medium enterprises, infrastructure and education. In certain project finance areas the bank has attained top position globally.

Om Prakash Bhatt, chairman of SBI, said, "Especially in home loans it is important, because HDFC and ICICI Bank were the leaders earlier. Now, SBI is number one. In auto loans it used to be HDFC Bank, in infrastructure finance, there are specialised institutions like IDFC, IIFCL, in SME space there is SIDBI, but everywhere we are number one now".

SBI registered 44 percent growth to Rs.11,594 crore in the auto loan segment in a 12 month period ending September 2009. In the last three months the bank has allied with several manufacturers and dealers for providing auto finance.

In the home loan segment, SBI has clocked an annual growth of 23 percent at around Rs. 62,338 crore. Nevertheless, HDFC is still leading the segment in terms of total portfolio of home loans.

SBI came with the Happy Home scheme in February 2009 with loans attracting 8 percent interest rates for the first year. The scheme was a success and helped the bank to increase the number of loans sanctioned to 22,000 in September from 14,400 in February. SBI, later, extended this scheme to the auto, SME and warehousing sectors.

In education loan segment, SBI stayed ahead of all his competitors by registering a 42 percent growth in 12 months at Rs. 8,008 crore. Earlier this year, the bank slashed education loan rates by 25 basis points.


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