India's largest bank, State Bank of India, seem to perform well despite of the slowdown that affected the country. The bank reported that during the year ended December 2008, its priority sector lending rose by Rs 24,892-crore, a growth of 18.88%.
The bank has exceeded the 40% pre-determine lending to the priority sector. SBI had disbursed Rs 1,32,300-crore under priority sector till March 2008 and loans to the small and medium enterprises (SME) grew by Rs 11,482-crore till end-December.
"Although there was a substantial increase in adjusted net bank credit over March 2008, a matching growth in priority sector advances has been registered to ensure the required share in overall lending," said SBI.
As on March 2008, SBI had Rs 74,039-crore due under SME loans. Advances extended to SMEs under the priority sector category were noted at Rs 52,628-crore, 61% of the total advances to the SME sector.
As per the RBI's norms, banks need to extend nearly 40% of their total adjusted net bank credit to the priority sector.
Priority sector advances mainly consist of small-scale industries, small business finances, educational and housing loans up to certain specified limits.