The State Bank of India has been established to operate on the normal commercial principles, with the only difference that, unlike other commercial banks in the country, it takes into consideration and responds in a progressively liberal manner the financial requirements of cooperative institutions and small scale industries, particularly in the rural areas of the country.
The main objectives of the State Bank are:
(i) To act in accordance with the broad economic policies of the government;
(ii) To encourage and mobilise savings by opening branches in rural and semi-urban areas and to promote rural credit;
(iii) To establish government partnership in the provision of cooperative credit;
(iv) To extend financial help for the establishment of licensed warehouses and cooperative marketing societies;
(v) To provide financial help to the small scale and cottage industries;
(vi) To provide remittance facilities to the banking institutions.
The State Bank of India acts as an agent of the Reserve Bank in all those places where the latter does not have its branches.