We require national consensus on loan waivers: Karnataka Bank MD Mahabaleshwara

1 August 2018:The headquartered in Mangaluru of private sector bank has roped in Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to help it pick off an enthusiastic transformation plan.  
 
Edited excerpts: 
What is your view on loan disclaimer schemes as Karnataka has just had one? 
As a banker, I would love to see agriculture become a viable economic project. Apart from market interference schemes such as MSP, we want to build a strong marketing tool. We need to expand the technology to help farmers discover better prices for their produce. 
I think state governments should come together, deliberate and arrive at a national consensus as for loan waivers. 
With challenges increasing and models changing, is it not the time for banks to look at consolidation prospects to become competitive? 
Consolidation has been a continuous process. In the recent past, we have seen the consolidation of associates of SBI. As for occasions, the first one is growth opportunities, which in my opinion are sufficient in a growing economy such as ours. There is a sea of opportunities to integrate conventional banking with IT and offer IT-enabled products to our customers. Hence, my focus is to improve earning and decrease stress. 
 
What are the challenges and opportunities for small and medium banks such as yours?
The first challenge is regarding capital addition. We have to go on hitting the market unlike in the case of PSU banks, which are capitalized by the government. The second challenge involves the upgrading of information technology (IT) infrastructure. We require to upgrade because of the warning of technology fast becoming obsolete. We will propose a sort of new customer journey experience. our bank should be able to give credit sanction within 20 minutes for some credit proposals when this digital hub of perfection starts working out new products. This is how we plan to scale up. 
How different will your bank be by its centenary year? 
By 2024, when we complete 100 years, we like to develop as a big, strong and active bank. To reposition our bank as a relevant and important article, we have tied up with BCG.