While the award was a one on best banking, the amount of information gained on the banking sector and its successful operations was indeed an insight.
Apparently Indian banks can perform and this too in the wake of some tough operating conditions.
That having been said, Indian banks have a long way to go before they achieve global standards.
“There was just no option than to give the award to the Bank of Baroda (BoB),” says Ashok Advani, Chairman, Business India Publications and Publisher of Business India. Advani was speaking at the Business India Best bank 2012 award which was conferred to the Bank of Baroda. Normally, the award is not to be given twice to the same bank and Bank of Baroda (BoB) had also won the award in 2010. However, since the performance of BoB was so impressive the review panel had no option but to confer the Best bank 2012 award on BoB.
“Let us face it that PSU banks do not have a good reputation,” said Advani on some of the perception hurdles that governmental banks have had to face. Long queues, corruption and inefficiency were just some of the negatives associated with PSU banks in India.
As to how things have changed since those days is now encapsulated by the respect with which the equity markets hold PSU banks. “Stock markets value PSU banks well. But as long as the government has a 51% stake in them this will be a damper,’ says Advani.
Also, however large the PSU banks get they are still small by global standards. It may be pointed out that several foreign banks have recently had Indians as their heads and Citi, StanChart and Deutsche Bank are just some examples that come to mind.
“Operations of the bank have been diversified,” explains K. R. Kamath CMD, Punjab National Bank and part of the jury that selected BoB for the award. “Prompt customer service is also a factor,” Kamath continues. Kamath’s PNB had won the award in 2011 and all of this was against the backdrop of some pretty challenging global conditions.
“This award is a result of consistent performance from the bank and her employees,” says M.D. Mallya, CMD, BoB explaining the success of his bank. The bank is constantly improving customer standards and infrastructure. He too noted that the global background was indeed difficult. “Going forward, we will benchmark our standards, to global standards,” says Mallya, of BoB’s future vision.