Banks meet on Sep 4 to discuss merger; SBI and BoB to share expertise

The chairman and managing directors (CMDs) of 10 public sector banks, which are on the government’s merger list, will meet on September 4 in Mumbai to discuss the plan.

The meeting, anchored by the ministry of finance, will also be attended by the representatives of State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda, which will share their experiences with mergers, two people familiar with the development confirmed.

In April this year, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank got merged with Bank of Baroda. In 2017, State Bank of India merged with itself five of its associate banks -- State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, and State Bank of Patiala — along with Bharatiya Mahila Bank.

According to a senior banker, the banks which would be merged into four entities would also hold separate meetings to chalk out a road map.

April 1 would be a pragmatic deadline for the merger, and some banks have already expressed this view in their meeting with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week, said a senior banker.

Last Friday, Sitharaman unveiled a mega plan to merge 10 public sector banks into four. Punjab National Bank (PNB) will take into Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India to form the nation's second-largest lender; Syndicate Bank will merge into Canara Bank; Union Bank of India will amalgamate with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank; and Indian Bank will absorb Allahabad Bank. The consolidation exercise will bring down the number of nationalised public sector banks to 12, from 27 in 2017.

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