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SBI not to make aggressive festival offers: Bhattacharya

A slowdown in credit pick up from corporates may prevent country's largest lender State Bank of India from announcing aggressive festive season offers for loan seekers, a top official has said.

‘You need to subsidise those offers from corporate demand. If there is no off-take on the corporate side, where will I subsidise those offers?,’ the bank's Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said.

She hinted that the scope to cut rates for specific products is very limited at present and at best, the bank may look at reviewing other charges like the processing fees on products.

Bhattacharya also pointed at the high competition in the retail market, which also limits the scope to come down on the lending rates further during festive season. She said that the bank's products are already at ‘rock bottom’ and in order to go down further, it may have to reduce its base rate which is not feasible right now.

The lender had cut its deposit rates by 0.25 per cent earlier this month, its second such move in the recent months, citing the slowdown in credit pick up which has increased the liquidity supply.

The Reserve Bank data released earlier this month had said that credit growth has slipped to 9.6 per cent till the fortnight ended 4 September, the first ever since the crisis years that it has fallen below the double digit mark.
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