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Gyan Sangam – The Bankers’ Retreat

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The first of its kind retreat of bankers and insurers held in Pune in 2015 on January 2-3. The major theme at the two-day ‘Gyan Sangam’ on January 2-3 was the mergers and acquisitions of PSU banks. Among other were discussions on non-performing assets, carrying out changes to recovery laws and giving out employee stock options.gyan sangam

It was attended by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Governor of Maharashtra Shri Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, MoS Finance Shri Jayant Sinha, RBI Governor Shri Raghuram Rajan, Secretary Financial Services Shri Hasmukh Adhia and all PSUs.

In a presentation made to the Prime Minister, SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya included five major resolutions on the behalf of all bankers. The five points include: a decision to re-orient the portfolios of small public sector banks to focus on specific and differentiated niches, build people capacities, use of more technology (especially in the top 30 processes), strengthen risk management practises and strengthen the partner channels such as business correspondents.

Highlights of PM’s speech:

  • The PM assured all the bankers that there will be no interference by the government in the functioning of the banks.
  • He called for developing common strengths among the 27 public sector banks. He suggested this could be done in areas such as software, and advertising. He gave the example of number portability in the telecom sector in this regard (like customer can change his telecom operator with same previous number).
  • He asked banks to prioritize loans to students as this would be a very productive investment for the country.
  • He asked PSBs to set goals for the 75th anniversary of independence in the country in 2022. He said he had resolved to provide housing for all by 2022, and banks had a huge opportunity here, as 11 crore houses were required.
  • He said that as part of Corporate Social Responsibility, banks should take up one sector each year to play a positive role.
  • He called upon each public sector bank to help develop 20,000 to 25,000 Swachhta entrepreneurs for Swachhta Abhiyan.
  • He called upon banks to take the lead in encouraging competitions on financial literacy in schools so that each common man gets financial literacy.
  • He said the banking sector of a country mirrors its economic rise. So banks should work so that they get place in top positions among the best banks in the world.