The bank's rising bad assets or NPAs (non-performing assets) is a major concern, UBI Chairman and Managing Director Arun Tiwari told reporters here yesterday, adding that with an improvement in the Indian economy, the NPAs may come down.
UBI's gross NPAs surged to Rs 9,563.72 crore last fiscal from Rs 6,313.83 crore in 2012-13. On the government's plan to merge state-run banks into three-four large banks, Tiwari said, "It is easy to merge the banks' balance sheets but it would not be easy to merge their culture."
Earlier yesterday, while inaugurating all India Conclave of Directors of Rural Self Employment Training Institute (R-SETI) operated by UBI, Tiwari said, "It is the responsibility of R-SETI directors to uplift the social and economic level of people in the society from the bottom of the pyramid by giving them handholding and self employment training."
He said UBI is taking initiative in national financial inclusion plan and committed for upliftment of society by providing maximum assistance to agriculture, self-help groups (SHGs) and micro credit. During the credit camp, the bank provided financial assistance totalling Rs 125 crore to more than 3,617 borrowers, he said.
UBI General Manager (Varanasi zone) H K Behera, who was also present at the event, said the bank is committed to expand its presence in rural areas and increase its branches to 600 by March 2015.