Customer relations taking back seat in modern banking: CMD

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Bangalore, Sep 21 (UNI) Modern banking products like internet and mobile banking services have resulted in the relationship between the customers and the bank staff taking a back seat, Vijaya Bank Chairman and Managing Director Prakash P Mallya said today.

Speaking at a seminar on 'Public Relations and Communications for Banks and Financial Institutions,' organised by Association of Business Communicators of India and PR Council of India here, he said the modern banking system had put paid to the pleasant public relations practice between customers and the staff of banks that existed in the past.

He said the ageing staff in the public sector banks were not lagging in good PR practices and had in fact stood up to the stiff competition from foreign and private banks.

''Though the average age of executives in PSU banks is 53-54 years, they have been successful in capturing the market in a big way.

''PSU banks hold 77 per cent of the financial market in the country. Credit should be given to ageing executives in these banks,'' he added.

The spend on PR activities of large banks had touched a mind boggling figure in the recent times and this showed how important the PR practices had become to the financial institutions.

''Branding is an important end result of the PR and Communications exercise coupled with utility of the products on offer and manner of their delivery to the ultimate user,'' he said.

Mr Mallya however regretted the PR profession was facing a severe setback with lack of structured courses focusing on latest trends, developments and technologies.

There was a need to expand the scope of PR education, training and research on a priority basis.

There was also a need for systematised research about what the good PR was and how it could make a difference to the fortunes of an oranisation.

''Quite often, a course in journalism or media relations is treated on par with PR.

''Press relations and media management are only apart of the PR skills,'' he added.

UNI

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