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Hits and Misses

Hits and Misses
The Indian Banking Story

January 2021 | 308 pages | SAGE Response
Do you often wonder—‘Is my money safe in banks?’ India is grappling with its worst banking crisis ever, and we are still trying to figure out what landed us here. This book analyses the role of the government and RBI in allowing the problem to reach the dimension it has assumed today. 

When will the never-ending NPA issue be resolved? Does it make sense to merge two PSBs when the culture and governance structures are alike? Should the RBI reserves be used in times of crisis? Should the tenure of a CEO be long or short? The book ponders and debates on some of these questions. 

Hits and Misses presents the two sides of the Indian banking story by giving an account of the reforms as well as quandaries in times of extraordinary economic and political challenges. The book answers many relevant questions by highlighting the highs and lows of the banking sector, which became subjects of debate in media and financial circles. 
Foreword by Sanjiv Chadha
Introduction: Banking Metamorphosis
PART I Trends
Banking on Reforms: The Narasimham Committee Report
Advent of New Private Banks
Branches Pop Up Where Business Exists
Transformation of the Deposits Ecosystem
Credit Matrix
How the Structure of Income of Banks Changed?
Chipping of the PSB Market Share
The Human Factor
Managing Employee Pay Scales
PART II Controversies
The NPA Conundrum
The IBC: Are We Serious?
PCA Banks: That Hurts Now!
Going beyond PCA and the Collapse of Governance
Corporate Governance in Indian Banks
Bank Mergers: Do They Make Sense?
Privatizing PSBs: One Step Forward, Two Behind
Capitalizing PSBs: Whose Baby Is It?
How Free Are Banks?
Loan Waivers: Make Merry When the Going is Good
It’s Business After All
Freeing Banks from Term Lending
De-risking Banking: RBI’s Large Exposure Framework
Universal Banking: Should We Go Back?
CEO Tenure: Too Short or Too Long?
CEO Compensation
Bankers on Interest Rates: Narrow View Always
Relevance of CRR
Banking Costs: They Really Hurt
Priority Sector Lending: Will We Ever Get Out of It?
Benchmarking of Interest Rates: Who Should Decide?
Don’t Use the Small Savings Argument Please
Are Your Deposits Really Safe?
NBFCs and Shadow Banking: The Next Frontier
RBI versus Government: Is It a Healthy Relationship?
Handling Public Debt
RBI Reserves: Leave Them Alone
What Should Be the Tenure of RBI Governor?
MPC: Time to Go Back to the Textbook
Conclusion: The Final Take

These essays on the current state and evolution of India’s banking industry, and its future trajectory, are topical and enlightening. The general as well as the expert reader will find much in them that is engaging and provocative. Most importantly, the author overlays decades of hands-on banking experience on a rigorous economics base.

Dr Sudhir Shah
Head of Department, Professor, Delhi School of Economics

Mr Madan Sabnavis does an admirable job walking the reader through the ins and outs of this very crucial piece of the economic puzzle—has Indian Banking come of age in these nearly three decades. Not surprisingly, the answer about the success of Indian banking sector reforms is filled with shades of grey. What is particularly noteworthy is Mr Sabnavis’ analytical and communicative ability to do so in a non-ideological fashion. 

Dr Sunder Ramaswamy
Vice Chancellor, Krea University, Sri City, Andhra Pradesh

A long-awaited book covering all contemporary issues of banking. The book is not merely a narration of events; deep analysis and unfolding of new dimensions make it different from other texts. Mr Madan Sabnavis likes to call a spade a spade and his views and inferences in this book once again demonstrate that trait. A scholarly writing presented in a lucid manner—a must read for all who are interested in banking.

Dr J. N. Misra
Chief Executive Officer, Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF)

I have known Madan for over two and a half decades. I have always respected him for fearlessly speaking out his point of view, particularly with reference to banking and allied sectors. I have always paid attention to his views even if I might have disagreed with him. What always impressed me has been the clarity of his thoughts and that he has been well-grounded. I have no doubt that, as in the past, his candid speaking would be reflected in these essays.

P. H. Ravikumar
Director of Aditya Birla Capital and former MD and CEO, NCDEX

This book is a much-needed study of an extremely complex subject. Drawing on his nearly 35 years of experience in financial and applied economic fields, Madan has written the most comprehensive book on the evolution of the Indian banking sector post-financial sector reforms. The coverage of topics and the analytical treatment strongly reflect his theoretical intelligence and deep practical insights.

Dr Rupa Rege Nitsure
Group Chief Economist, L&T Financial Services Limited

This book will surely promote informed debates on the economic outcomes of reforms in the financial sector and the essential road ahead. There are no more lucid accounts than this book on this vital cog for successful reforms. There are a few to match Sabnavis in clarity when it comes to analysing economic topics that concern us day to day. In this work, he has captured the essence of financial sector evolution since reforms, dissecting major initiatives. The potential as well as the pitfalls have been brought out very crisply.

V. Kumaraswamy
CFO (JK Paper), Author and Columnist

Madan uses his training as an economist and his experience of being a participant in India’s financial system to discuss key trends in a sector which is key to our economy and the centre of attention at the moment. He touches on a number of topics where there are differing views and provokes the reader to think about these topics both deeply and differently.

Ajay Srinivasan
Chief Executive, Aditya Birla Capital Limited

This book provides numerous unbiased insights into bringing the moribund Indian banking system into a new mode. While dwelling in basic economic theory, Madan has always brought in a fresh practical perspective being a good lateral thinker that is easily understood by most readers and not just specialists. Honest in his analysis, Madan does not shy away from expressing his views which perhaps is the best way to begin any discussion. I would strongly recommend this book for its 360-degree review of the Indian banking system.

Dr Manju Ghodke
Consultant and former Chief Economist, L&T Limited

For some, history is a nightmare from which they try to awaken. However, Madan Sabnavis’ book wakes us up gently, without allowing history to become a nightmare. He explains economic policies with gentleness and understanding that is rare among economists. Yet he pushes for governance, accountability and the need to protect customers and depositors. His ability to explain the ‘why’ and firmly, yet almost softly, suggest what should be done is what makes the book special.

R. N. Bhaskar
Consulting editor with Free Press Journal

Sabnavis combines the skills of an economist with the speed of a journalist, and that’s what makes this book so important. It examines all the questions people have about banks: Do bank mergers make sense? Are we serious about the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code? What is wrong with the government telling its banks what to do if a private sector owner can call the shots in a bank? and so on. A ‘two-handed’ approach is a bit disappointing, but that’s because there are no unalloyed truths. The lay reader will certainly benefit from the book; the specialist may also learn a trick or two.

Sunil Jain
Managing Editor, Financial Express

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ISBN: 9789353886868

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