RBI never understood SBI teaser loans: Bhatt

Mumbai: Outgoing State Bank chairman Om Prakash Bhatt continued his defiance of the central bank on the teaser loan front saying "the Reserve Bank never understood our special home loan product".

"Obviously, they (RBI) have not understood our product (the special home loan product)," Bhatt, who is superannuating tomorrow from SBI after a five-year stint as chairman and a four-decade-old association, told reporters at the bank headquarters here on Wednesday.

Reiterating that RBI`s stance that SBI`s special home loans are similar to the sub-prime loans lent in the US in the run-up to the 2008 global financial meltdown, Bhatt said this view is beyond logic as his offering is sold to those who are "absolutely credit-worthy."

However, he was quick to add that this is not a defiant stance with regard to the regulator but this is the view point of a bank that is the industry leader with a quarter of the entire banking business under its fold.

"Being the industry thought-leader and market leader, it is the duty of SBI to articulate our views to the regulator.

This has to be done in the interest of intellectual honesty and public discourse," he said

However, Bhatt was quick to add that "but if they still insist that this cannot be continued and is against its norms, then we will comply…that does not mean that we don`t have a view point on this? Also, I would like to place it on record that so far, all through the five years of my tenure as the chairman, SBI has been 100 percent compliant with all the RBI regulations."