Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat K Karad on Monday said banks need to focus on digitalisation and keep a vigil on stressed loans.
Bank should also undertake financial literacy and financial inclusion activities, he said after inaugurating the zonal office of ESAF Small Finance Bank here.
Karad said banks should do timely recognition of non-performing assets and make adequate provisions so that the banking system remains healthy.
Emphasising on use of technology, he said, it is the future and there is need to promote digital banking.
Speaking on the occasion, ESAF Small Finance Bank managing director K Paul Thomas said the bank has special focus on agriculture sector.
The bank signed an agreement with Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited for providing crop insurance.
The bank, which has nearly 600 branches spread across 21 states, recorded over four-fold jump in net profit to Rs 302.33 crore for the year ended March 31, 2023. The bank earned a profit of Rs 54.73 crore a year ago.
Total business (including advances under collection management) increased by 23.22 per cent to Rs 30,996.89 crore, compared to Rs 25,155.76 crore in the preceding year.
Deposits increased 14.44 per cent from Rs 12,815.07 crore to Rs 14,665.63 crore for the year ended March 31, 2023. Gross advances increased 16.38 per cent from Rs 12,130.64 crore to Rs 14,118.13 crore as of March 31, 2023.
He was quick to add that the Indian banking sector is "strong and stable" with capital buffers at 16.1 per cent, gross non-performing assets at 4.41 per cent and provision coverage ratio at 73.20 per cent at the end of December 2022.
"It is in times such as these that complacency may set in. We have to bear in mind that risks often get overlooked or forgotten when things are going well. Therefore, boards of directors of banks and their senior management should maintain a constant vigil on external risks and build-up of internal vulnerabilities, if any," he said.