State Bank of India is leading the charge for a new merger of public banks to create an entity with a balance sheet of ₹37 trillion. The consolidated Indian bank will be small in comparison with other global banks, but has the potential to be ranked in the world’s top 50. Tuesday marked the first meeting between chairpersons of all associate banks.
SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said the new banking facility will have a balance sheet size of ₹37 trillion—five times the size of India’s second largest lender ICICI Bank’s balance sheet. According to Bloomberg, SBI ranked 52 globally in terms of assets, so it is expected that the new entity will be ranked somewhere in the top 50 banks.
SBI is seeking government approval to merge its bank with five of its associates—all public-sector banks—this fiscal. This would increase SBI’s share of loans and deposits by nearly 5 percent. At the end of 2015, SBI had advances of Rs.13.91 trillion and deposits of Rs.16.71 trillion.
After the first meeting in this regard was held on Tuesday, the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) called for a pan-India strike on May 20. It will oppose the consolidation.
Arundhati Bhattacharya told Live Mint, “There are a lot of synergies between the banks. Currently, there is a lot of duplication. For instance, each bank runs its own individual treasury. Once you start rationalizing all this, the bank will get a lot of cost benefits.”
Recently finance minister ArunJaitley hinted that the government is looking to complete the bank consolidation process urgently.