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Canara Bank to turn some 600 branches to 5-star category

Public sector lender Canara Bank aims to transform at least 600 branches to 5-star category by upgrading the branches to meet international standards. These branches will offer the customers all the banking products under one roof and provide greater access to a wide range of services.

As part of its endeavour to become a vibrant bank, Canara Bank has unveiled a plan ‘Project Shikhar’ based on a report from the Boston Consulting Group. Under this, select branches will be rated under the five-star rating, said R K Dubey, CMD, Canara Bank.

As part of this plan, the bank on Wednesday opened two branches in Bangalore and Tumkur. “We have unveiled a prototype of Shikhar branches. Over the next six months, we will convert and upgrade another 600 branches across the country. We will totally transform our branch network by providing a good customer-friendly ambience, products and services. Now, our branches are rated under one star and we will upgrade them to five stars as per the standards provided by BCG,” Dubey said.

The bank had engaged global consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group to assist in revamping the operating model. The project ‘Shikhar’ is aimed at rejuvenating the bank by focusing on several themes like energising branches and customers’ service, increasing sales from branches, growing a robust asset base has been launched with the help of the BCG, Dubey said.

He said, the bank would open 1,250 new branches during the present financial year. It presently has over 4,750 branches. “We are undertaking a massive expansion of our branch network. Last year, we opened 1,000 new branches, which is 25 per cent of our total branch network. This year, too, we will open over 1,000 branches,” he said.

The bank also plans to expand its overseas branch network by opening a new branch at New York later this week. It opened a branch in Johannesburg in South Africa last month. “It is very difficult to get all regulatory approvals to open a branch in America. We have just secured those permissions to open a branch in New York. We have also got approvals to open a branch in Frankfurt, which will be opened this year,” Dubey said.

Canara Bank also has plans to open branches in Durban, Shanghai, Bahrain among other locations, he added.

The bank is aiming at a growth of 18-20 per cent in the total business to achieve Rs 8.5 lakh crore in 2014-15. It is aiming at a deposit growth of 16-17 per cent and advances growth of 19-20 per cent by March 2015.

For 2013-14, the bank reported a growth of 20.7 per cent year-on-year (YOY) in global business at Rs 7,21,790 crore in 2013-14 compared to Rs 5,98,033 crore as of March 2013.

The bank has also appointed KPMG Advisory Services Ltd for comprehensive assessment and to draw roadmap for the bank’s subsidiaries and associates.


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