From April 1, Punjab National Bank
(PNB), Oriental Bank of Commerce, and United Bank of India
will combine to form the nation’s second-largest lender. Canara Bank
will take over Syndicate Bank; Union Bank of India is planned to be amalgamated with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank; and Indian Bank
will subsume Allahabad Bank. Immediately from April, the balance sheets and stocks of the banks will be merged. The integration of technology, human resources and branches/ATMs will take place in a phased manner.
The banks will present to the FM their “business and financial plans, including credit and deposits growth and year-wise synergy realisation plan.” The banks had already submitted these details to the department of financial services in the finance ministry
The FM will check on the preparedness and capacities of the amalgamating banks to handle and address customer queries and difficulties and the banks may be asked to set up “common call centre with regional language support, to ensure customer issues are addressed and responded to the same day,” according to the communication issued by the finance ministry.
The banks will submit plans for “ensuring enhanced delivery of banking services and products to customers, with indication of likely time frames” to the government.
A monitoring cell will be set up to track “social media
content and trends” with direct reporting line to the top management for real-time detection of amalgamation-related problems and “effective response to nip any issues in the bud.”
Besides, the banks will present a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions catering to different target groups such as pensioners, media, investors, analysts and employees.
This will be the first set of mergers of state-owned banks under the National Democratic Alliance government. From April 2019, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank had become a part of Bank of Baroda. Before that State Bank of India took over its five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank from April 2017.
After the mega merger of 10 banks into four, the number of public sector banks
in India will reduce from 27 in 2017 to 12.