State Bank of India Sees Credit Growth Slowing This Fiscal Year

A State Bank of India Bank (SBI) branch in Mumbai. 
Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

State Bank of India , the country’s largest lender, expects credit growth to slow in the financial year started April 1 because demand remains subdued, Chairman Rajnish Kumar said.

Credit growth in the current financial year will be between 12% and 14%, compared with about 14% in the previous 12 months, he told the media in Kolkata.

The financial market has been affected by a yearlong shadow banking crisis that started with shock defaults last year by IL&FS group. Earlier this month, India’s central bank took steps to alleviate a credit crunch at shadow banks and relaxed rules for lending to consumers as part of measures to boost the slowing economy.

A high number of non-performing assets in the agriculture sector is an issue and the present model for farm lending requires an overhaul because it isn’t viable, Kumar said. The bank will be able to control fresh slippages -- new bad loans as a share of total credit-- in the current quarter in the farming and retail sectors, he said. The lender is targeting full-year deposit growth of 7.5%, he said.

— With assistance by Swansy Afonso