Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Indian Banks' Association (IBA) jointly organised the FICCI-IBA Annual Banking Conference (FIBAC 2018) on August 20 and 21, 2018 at Hotel Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was the Knowledge Partner for the conference. It was the 17th iteration of the conference with the theme ‘Financial services to SMEs in an increasingly digital eco-system’.

The inaugural session began with the welcome address by Rashesh Shah, President, FICCI and Chairman and CEO, Edelweiss Group, followed with brief remarks by Rajnish Kumar, Deputy Chairman, IBA and Chairman, State Bank of India.

It was followed by the release of the Knowlege Paper by the chief guest N S Vishwanathan, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, who delivered the inaugural address. The edited version of this address follows.

N S Vishwanathan

I am extremely happy to be here on the 17th edition of the FIBAC. This is a flagship event of these two organisations. When the industry and the banking associations join together, it generates a lot of interesting discussions, the outcomes of which will be beneficial to both the sides because both are complementary to each other.

The MSME sector plays an important role in any economy and India is no exception. Recognising this important role of MSME in the economy as the provider of employment and generator of export receivables for the country, the RBI and the government have taken several affirmative measures over the last several years. Among them, MSME has a specific target under priority sector lending, and with

a view to ensuring that the larger among the MSMEs do not crowd out the smaller ones, there is a sub-target for the smaller entities. We have licensed a large number of small finance banks with a mandate to have 75 percent of their advances to priority sector. Many of those that have graduated to being small finance banks are NBFCs which were already lending the MSMEs, and we would want to bring that expertise into the banking sector.

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