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Tuticorin-based lender Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB) is following up on the rebranding initiatives it had embarked on some two years ago. The bank, conventionally known as a small traders’ bank, continues to focus on retail lending while targeting new-generation customers. It is awaiting court clearances to hit the IPO market. KB Nagendra Murthy, managing director & chief executive officer of the bank, tells Sajan C Kumar that TMB wants to grow profitably. Excerpts:
What has been the impact of the new rebranding initiative?
We are continuing to upgrade our technology platform and trying to implement paperless transactions as far as possible. By March 2014, we want to have 1,000 business centres — branches and ATMs. Today, we have 962 business centres, which include 362 branches and 600-plus ATMs. We are focusing on the retail segment and are reasonably doing well. We have already hit our target for agricultural advances, which is 21% of the total portfolio.
What are the plans for next year?
We will pay attention to enhancing Casa and implementing higher versions of technology. Currently, Casa is at 17% and, if we reach 20%, we will be happy. Casa mobilisation will be our mantra and we have asked our teams at the branches to market the product aggressively.
On the technology front, we will be implementing higher versions of core banking solutions, so that customer-friendly initiatives can be undertaken. We have already implemented mobile and Net banking and, going forward, we will be aggressively marketing these products. We have been going slow on the deposit front; the growth is just around16% this year.
What are the plans on business and network expansion?
We would be happy to do a business of R40, 000 crore by March end with advances at around R18, 000 crore and deposits at around R22,000 crore. The growth in FY14 would be close to 20%, but it’s hard to say how the coming year will be. Close to 30% of our new branches will be opened in states other than Tamil Nadu, such as Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.