Good customer service is key to banks growth: FM

Gurgaon: Terming human capital deficit as a major challenge to public sector banks, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday day asked them to improve customer service to stay relevant in the competitive financial market.

"With enhanced competition amongst banks, customer service becomes the soul differentiating factor to be leveraged to stay relevant and to forge ahead in the business," Mukherjee said at the golden jubilee celebration of State Bank Staff College.

"Good customer service is the heart of banking service delivery. Banking is predominately a customer oriented business and good customer service is the key to banks growth and stability," he said.

As customer awareness grows, the Finance Minister said banks would be required to gear up for providing more efficient and cost effective services leveraging the technological capabilities.

Indicating that the human capital deficit is one of the major challenges for the public sector banks, Mukherjee said, "manpower policy planning and human resource development are among the measure key areas for our PSBs today."

A substantial part of the current work force in public sector banks (PSBs) had joined in the 1970s and is in the process of superannuating, he said.

"It is estimated that in the next few years 80 per cent of the General Managers, 65 per cent of the Deputy General Managers, 58 per cent of Assistant General Managers and 44 per cent of Chief Managers would be retiring," he said.

"To replace the exiting workforce, which was basically trained in traditional banking, with personnel with specialised financial service delivery skills, is both a challenge as well as an opportunity," he added.