With the banking sector being thrown open to niche as well as more private players, RBI deputy governor R Gandhi today warned the industry to brace for higher attrition, being already faced by highly unionized public sector lenders.
“We’ve been telling banks to expect people to hop from one institution to another. Old method of developing a cadre and expecting them to continue with you for life is going to change. Attrition is going to be the norm,” Gandhi said.
Addressing a seminar organised by the Sebi-managed National Institute for Securities Markets, at its upcoming campus at Patal Ganga near here, Gandhi said he foresees the demand for high specialisation rising in the banking space.
“It is going to be expertise-driven and niche. When expertise, knowledge and specialisation are in high demand, people will be hopping jobs,” he said.
However, he said RBI doesn’t have latest attrition levels in but added that it foresees a spike in demand for experienced hands with more new banks come up.
On inflation, which rose to 5.11 per cent in January, a tad above 5 per cent target set by RBI for 2016, Gandhi expressed confidence that low inflation will continue. “We are definitely going to have a low and stable inflation climate that will lead to low interest rate regime.”
He said that when low interest rate regime stays for long it leads to higher investor appetite. This spawns various new financial instruments, products and services that again increase demand for more expert hands in the market.
On the deteriorating NPAs levels, which as per Icra are set to touch 5.7 per cent next fiscal due to the new CDR norms from April, Gandhi said RBI has been continuously saying that there can be more slippages in restructured accounts.
“We have been warning banks that they should be looking at the entire stressed assets and not just NPAs. That is why we have been paying attention not just on the declared NPAs but the total whole stressed accounts,” he added.
On how long the NPA issue is likely to haunt banks, he said “our expectation on growth is positive. Growth should help them to come out of this problem”.
When asked about allowing banks to convert debt into equities in highly leveraged and troubled companies, which the Governor had announced on the last policy day, he said the RBI is in discussions with the Sebi for the details.
“Recently, in the Companies Act also there was some tweaking to help this out. So we will finalise with the Sebi. We are discussing with Sebi on the pricing part in particular. Sebi has its own rules and the responsibilities to protect minority shareholders’ interest vis-a-vis bankers’ own requirement,” he said.