India’s largest lender, State Bank of India’s newly appointed chairman said that his focus areas as he takes over will be maintaining the quality of the loan book while ensuring that provisioning requirements are met.

In his maiden address to the media, Dinesh Khara, chairman,SBI, said his top three priorities included employees and customers’ safety, and the quality of its loan book.

“My top three priorities are safety of our employees who are serving our customers, safety of our customers, and quality of our (loan) book, which has been in the discussion lately,” Khara, who had joined SBI in 1984 as a probationary officer, told reporters in a virtual address.

At a time when the Indian banking system is hamstrung by the pandemic, SBI is witnessing credit growth of around 6-7% while business is “70-80% back to pre COVID-19 levels,” for the bank, Khara said in a press briefing after taking over the reins on Wednesday.

Before taking over as chairman, Khara was a managing director at the bank and was responsible for overseeing global markets and subsidiaries of SBI.Khara has been appointed as chairman for a three-year term.

On loan restructuring, Khara said the requests received so far were in manageable limits, and the bank has not seen many requests from corporates.

“We are very closely observing the behavior of people who are interested in restructuring. We have created a website for people who are interested. Whatever number we have seen till now, it is very much manageable,” he said.