SBI defers its merger plans with associate banks
By Vaibhav Aggarwal
Jan 9, 2009
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The largest lender, State Bank of India defers its meager plans of associate banks with itself and concentrates more on maintenance of its financial position and overcoming slowdown.

SBI's Chairman, OP Bhatt says that the bank has recently merged State Bank of Saurashtra (SBS) with itself and there are no further plans of any merger as of now. "Nothing is on the cards," he said.

This announcement seems conflicting to the bank's earlier plans of merger. Earlier the bank was planning to merge State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Hyderabad with itself. Also the union government was also setting up a stage for the merger of State Bank of Indore and State Bank of Patiala with the parent bank. But as of now all these plans are deferred by the management authorities of the bank.

The internal sources of the bank say that it will currently focus on handling the financial crisis and economic slowdown. The merger would be initiated once the conditions are clam.

With a view to consolidate its presence, SBI has plans to merge all its associate banks with itself. Presently SBI has six associate banks that include State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Indore and State Bank of Travancore.

The employees of SBI had protested the merger plans of the bank and had even gone on a strike after the merger of State Bank of Saurashtra (SBS) with SBI. However the Chairman said that the employees are now showing a positive attitude towards the merger.

Presently the bank is incorporating all its operations following the merger of SBI and SBS. The post-merger rationalization is implemented on technology front, asset management, branch banking and seniority, said Mr Bhatt. He says that such a move would help the bank in its mergers that are deferred for now.

Recently SBI has also merged its Mauritius-based subsidiary, Indian Ocean International Bank (IOIB), with SBI International (Mauritius) under the name of SBI (Mauritius).

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