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SBI networks 10,000 branches in India and abroad

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Mumbai, Feb 24 (UNI) State Bank of India (SBI), in partnership with Datacraft India, has networked 10,000 branches including 55 overseas branches on a common platform that could offer as voice, data and internet facilities round the clock.

SBI Chairman A K Purwar told mediapersons here today that the remaining 4,000 branches of the bank, mainly in rural areas would be brought into the network by December this year.

All branches of SBI and its seven associate banks and subsidiaries were fully computerised and networked during the year in order to provide an edge over other commercial banks in the country, in terms of business transactions, cost effectiveness in product offerings and growth in profitability.

''Our networking, right from Leh to Andaman&Nocobar Islands and Lakshawdeep would not only benefit the bank's operation but also provide huge benefit to the economic growth of the country,'' he said.

In fact, the other banks and commercial institutions could take the benefit of the networking mainly in semi-urban and rural areas where telecom and power infrastructure is poor, he said.

''We can run our rural branch through the network even without the availability of electricity in the area,'' he said.

Though the network was designed mainly for SBI, Datacraft, a networking and system integration provider, could offer various services to other banks and institutions on the same network platform at a remote place in the country.

In fact, all the 5,500 ATMs and product delivery channels were linked through the network as a part of ''anywhere banking'' of SBI.

SBI invested about Rs 500 crore to develop and implement the computerised network, which would benefit the country's largest commercial bank for the next one decade.

It would help the bank to reduce overall cost by 20-25 per cent through reduction of headcounts and transaction expenditure in the next 3 to 4 years, he said.

For Datacraft, the company has set up a development centre at Bangalore, hiring about 300 engineers, for implementing the mega project of SBI.

Datacraft has invested USD 100 million for its Indian operations.

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