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UCO Bank launches Retail task force, hopes 30% growth

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Kolkata, Feb 23 (UNI) Public sector UCO Bank today introduced a 'Task Force' for the first time in India, to market its diversified retail products as the Bank has set an ambitious target to increase the share of its retail business to 30 per cent of its total advances by 2008 from about 19 per cent now.

Announcing this here UCO Bank Chairman and Managing Director V.

Sridar said the Bank had hand-picked 60 employees from its Howrah division to market a wide basket of the Bank's different products catering to personal needs of individual customers in the district to roll out the programme. Among the products to be marketted were housing loan, personal loan, UCO Trade loan for small retail traders, auto loan and UCO educatuion loan, the Bank Chairman said.

Later speaking to newsmen he said on the basis of the success of the first task force which would work from ten selected UCO Bank branches in Howrah district, at least 100 more such teams would be set up all across the country in selected districts before the end of this year before taking the number to 500 by March 2008.

Accordingly, a required number of bankmen from different states would also be trained to meet the increasing demand of manpower for the task force, Mr Sridar informed.

Referring to the Bank's target of increasing the share of its retail business to over 30 per cent of total advances by 2008 from 19 per cent now, Mr Sridar said this was being revised in the wake of tremendous growth in business in the country's real estate, steel, cement,infrastructure,personal and automobile sectors.

To a query about the Bank's rather low capital adequacy ratio of only 10.52 per cent against the minimum RBI requirement of eleven per cent and the tight liquidity position,the Chairman said to meet this resource gap they were planning to raise about Rs 300 crores by March this year as Tier one (about Rs 100 crores) and upward Tier II (Rs 200 crores) capital together.

On whether he was planning to raise additional funds through the new routes as allowed by the RBI recently, Mr Sridar said while the Tier I capital might come as perpetual Bond, the Tier II might come through a different way. "However, both the issues are still at preliminary stages and are yet to be finalised," he clarified.

Speaking more about the retail task force, Mr Sridar said similar launch would be organised in Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai to cope with the present retail boom in these regions.

"We are looking at a very healthy all round growth as well as financial results by the end of this fiscal," he said but refused to elaborate becasue of SEBI regulations.

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