PNB set to revamp business and strategy of five regional rural banks

At present, Five RRBs are sponsored by PNB which are operating in five States — Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and UP
Ahead of the merger of Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and United Bank of India (UBI) with itself, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has rolled out an exercise to revamp the business and strategy of its five regional rural banks (RRBs) having a combined business of Rs 1.03 trillion. PNB is roping in an advisor to create a roadmap for its RRBs. This is expected to address potential opportunities such as digitisation and analytics.

The consultancy or advisory firm will conduct assessment of core business opportunities and work towards a holistic operating model review. The objective is to work with the RRBs’ internal team to significantly enhance their performance trajectory, banking sources said.

The five RRBs sponsored by PNB are operating in five states – Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh – covering 93 districts with a network of 3,350 branches. 

OBC and UBI are set to merge with PNB from April 1 this year.  This is an opportunity to work for synergy and create capacity for future businesses for PNB. That includes associate entities like RRBs, a bank official said. These RRBs will continue to maintain an independent set up and focus on needs of the region under their jurisdiction.

The entire exercise of assessment and implementation of the plan will be spread over 21 months in two phases.  Scope of the exercise would cover cost optimisation, risk management, asset management, maxmising returns from technology and procurement and contract management.

There is room for cost optimisation and advisors will analyse the trends of various components of direct and indirect costs.  They will identify areas where cost optimisation is feasible.

Under risk management, they will study the current risk assessment policies and indicators for credit risk, operational risk and market risk of RRBs. The risk management will be benchmarked with industry best practices.

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