New Delhi: The country's largest bank SBI has said it plans to hire 9,500 employees this fiscal and its main thrust will be on retail banking in the coming years.
   
Noting that the current economic environment warrants greater prudence, State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Pratip Choudhuri has said the bank would remain vigilant to new opportunities and challenges.
   
"In the coming years, your bank's main thrust will be on retail, and, as shown by our achievements, we are well positioned to meet the competition," he said in his letter to shareholders, published in SBI's Annual Report 2011-12.
    
The state-owned bank also disclosed in the report that its overall staff strength declined by 7,452 employees during the last fiscal, but it has decided to recruit 9,500 clerical staff during 2012-13 to meet the growing needs of the bank.
   
As on March 31, 2012, the bank had a total permanent staff strength of 2,15,481 -- which included 80,404 officers, 95,715 clerical staff and the remaining 39,362 were sub-staff.
    
SBI said it already enjoys leadership positions in the retail car loan financing and home loan businesses and its retail advances grew 10.9 per cent to Rs 1,82,427 crore in the year ended March 31, 2012.
    
It commanded 26 percent market share in home loan and 17.51 percent market share in car loan financing last year.
    
"The global economy remains fragile, but we hope the situation will improve. Though the Euro zone sovereign debt crisis continues to dominate the financial landscape, we are optimistic the global political leaders and regulators will be able to stem the downslide," Chaudhuri said.
    
"However, we need to be alert as in today’s integrated world, global shocks can get transmitted to the Indian economy. Twin deficits (current account deficit and fiscal deficit) along with low growth and high inflation are the major challenges for Indian economy in the year ahead.
    
"The Indian banking scenario is encouraging and positive. Your Bank is expecting a loan growth of 16 percent and a deposit growth of 20 percent.
    
"As we go forward, the Indian and global economic environment could remain challenging for the next few years. Let me assure you that while remaining vigilant to the new opportunities in this milieu, your bank will act with the necessary prudence as required," he noted.
    
In 2011-12, SBI's net profit rose by about 42 percent to Rs 11,707 crore -- one of highest net profits earned by a corporate in the country.

(Agencies)

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