Calcutta, April 27: The State Bank of India is looking to set up four more branches exclusively for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bengal.
"We are giving more thrust to the small and medium enterprises in Bengal. We are coming up with four more specialised SME branches in the state," SBI chief general manager (Bengal circle) Suriender Kumar said on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The four branches will come up at Howrah, Bidhannagar, south and central Calcutta.
The bank already has a branch for SMEs at the city head office in Strand Road. Kumar said he was hopeful that these centres would be operational within the next six months.
According to Kumar, the exposure of the bank to SMEs in Bengal is about Rs 1 lakh crore. "Our exposure to SMEs is about Rs 1 lakh crore and it has been growing," Kumar said, adding that the bank is looking at a 25 per cent growth in advances this fiscal.
M.K. Nag, chief general manager (SME) of the SBI, pointed out that the key challenge for small units to get advances from banks and other financial institutions was to develop a clean balance sheet and get rated by a rating agency.
"The rating acts as a benchmark. While it can certainly help in raising funds, it also gives a clear picture to the SMEs themselves about their present position and helps them to grow."