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FE Best Banks Awards: Indian banking is resilient, ready to face latest challenges, says Arundhati Bhattacharya

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FE Best Banks Awards, India s most prestigious financial sector awards, concluded Thursday as former ICICI Bank chairman Narayanan Vaghul honoured the eminent bankers and financial services firms. While Arundhati Bhattacharya, former chairman, State Bank of India, carried home the Lifetime Achievement Award, Romesh Sobti, CEO, IndusInd Bank, walked away with the Banker of the Year award for 2016-17.

The winners for the prestigious awards were chosen by a high-powered jury chaired by former TCS chairman S Ramadorai. L&T Director & CFO R Shankar Raman, former UTI Asset Management MD Leo Puri, former RBI Executive Director Biswamohan Mahapatra and Ispirt founder Sharad Sharma were a few other members in the jury.

The world does look at us. Our banking is resilient, willing to face the latest challenges and remain inclusive, said Arundhati Bhattacharya, former SBI chairman after accepting the award.

Earlier, Financial Express Managing Editor Sunil Jain delivered the opening note and it was followed by a panel discussion. The panelists were Axis Bank outgoing CEO Shikha Sharma, SBI MD PK Gupta, Ispirt founder Sharad Sharma, PhonePe Head of Bank Relations Hemant Gala, and Bank Bazaar CEO Adhil Shetty.

Speaking on the occasion, Axis Bank, outgoing CEO, Shikha Sharma said, Cash is not going anywhere, formats of bank branches may change. The physical presence of a bank gives trust to customers.

It’s very difficult to say who is going to win, if you think too much about it, you won’t have a partner or develop the market – you have to think about how to integrate the front end with another platform, she added.

Sharing his views on the same topic, SBI, MD, PK Gupta said that the cost of bank service is so high that it has to move to digital. At the front end if there are Google pay and other apps providing services, at the back end it’s the bank doing the job, he added.

Healthy tension between players is good. We can expand credit while improving credit quality. We can change the trajectory of the industry for the better. We can get better compliance & ease of use, said Ispirt founder Sharad Sharma.

We are creating a culture where there is data and prudence, as people realise everything is being tracked and monitored, said Bank Bazar CEO Adhil Shetty