SBI to shut 47% of associate banks' offices after merger

State Bank of India (SBI) has said that it would to shut down 47% of the offices of associate banks following their merger on April 1. SBI will initiate the process for the closure of the associate banks' offices on April 24.

State Bank of India (SBI) has said that it would to shut down 47% of the offices of associate banks following their merger on April 1. SBI will initiate the process for the closure of the associate banks' offices on April 24.

"Out of the five head offices of the associate banks, we will retain only two. Three head offices of the associate banks will be unbound along with 27 zonal offices, 81 regional offices and 11 network offices of the associate banks," SBI Managing Director Dinesh Kumar Khara said.

"We will keep their structure in place till April 24 and, post that, we will start dismantling the associate banks' controlling offices, which includes head offices, regional offices, zonal offices and network offices," he said.

The five associate banks that will be a part of SBI from April 1 are State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Hyderabad.

With the merger of all the five associates, SBI is expected to become a lender of global proportions with an asset base of INR 37 trillion (INR 37 lakh crore) or over USD 555 billion, 22,500 branches and 58,000 ATMs. It will have over 50 crore customers.

Officers and employees, with the exception of the board of directors and executive trustees of the associate banks, will become employees of SBI following the merger.

SBI alone has nearly 20,000 branches, including 191 foreign offices spread across 36 countries.

Of the five subsidiary banks, only SBBJ, SBM and SBT are listed.

Meanwhile, the government on Monday announced that Bharatiya Mahila Bank will also be merged with SBI. Explaining the rationale behind the merger, the finance ministry said the SBI group already has 126 exclusive all-women branches across the country while the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) has only seven.

The ministry said there was a need to achieve the objectives of affordable credit to women as well as propagation of women-centric products quickly through a wider network and lower cost of funds.

The SBI has a large outreach of more than 20,000 branches and lowest cost of funds in the sector. Of the total workforce of around 2 lakh employees in the SBI, 22 per cent are women.

The BMB, set up in 2013, has 103 branches with its presence in almost all the states. The total business of the bank is about Rs 1,600 crore.