UCO Bank MD, CEO: We will expand further to the Telugu states
UCO Bank MD, CEO Soma Shankara Prasad: UCO Bank, a public sector financial services company, focuses on the Telugu states. Soma Shankara Prasad, managing director and CEO of the bank, said the bank would open 20 new branches in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the next financial year. Speaking to reporters in Hyderabad for the first time after being appointed as the head of the bank, he said, “We want to open 200 new branches across the country in the next financial year, of which 10 will be in Telangana and another 10 in AP.” There are already 81 branches in Telangana and AP, with up to 800 employees. It said it had hired a thousand new staff this year. The bank’s total business is worth Rs 3.50 lakh crore, of which Rs 11,700 crore comes from the Telugu states. He said the bank currently has 4,000 business correspondents on duty and the number is likely to increase further soon.
Possibility of rising interest rates
He commented that interest rates, which have fallen to record lows in the banking sector, are likely to rise in the coming financial year. He clarified that banks could not survive with the current interest rates. He said the demand for loans was unlikely to increase due to low-interest rates and only those in need could take loans on the pretext that they were low. The Reserve Bank of India decides on interest rates based on rupee depreciation, inflation, and crude oil. UCO Bank currently offers home loans at 6.50 percent interest and auto loans at 7.25 percent interest. Corona, on the other hand, said it expects demand from corporates who have been reluctant to take out loans by the end of this year.
15 percent growth this year
It expects growth of 12 percent to 15 percent this year. He said the bank was currently continuing to be profitable, declaring profits for the past seven to eight quarters. He said the company was expected to post a profit of Rs 800 crore to Rs 850 crore for the current financial year. It also expects to post a net profit of Rs 1,000 crore in the 2022-23 financial year, a growth of 20 percent. He said the demand for digital banking services has increased during the Corona period and all types of banking services can be availed with the mobile banking app launched by the bank.