Money & Banking

Merger of associate banks not a priority now, says SBI chief

Press Trust of India Mumbai | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 18, 2015

Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson, State Bank of India

‘There are a lot of challenges that are more immediate than merging banks’



State Bank of India Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said on Tuesday that the bank is currently not looking at merging its associate banks, and is instead focusing on more important challenges.

“At some point in time, yes we’ll merge. But I don’t think this is the right time. Because today there are a lot of challenges and those challenges are more immediate than merging banks,” Bhattacharya told newspersons here.

“The conversion to digital that is happening at such a fast pace, that’s a very big challenge. The fact that we have so many other layers coming in like payments banks, universal banks, licence on tap, disintermediation happening through the crowd funding platforms, crypto currency popping up here and there, so, challenges are multi-fold today,” she added.

SBI has five associate banks — State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Mysore.

She said the associate banks are performing well on their own and have their own strengths.

“Even if I merge them, my balance sheet will not go up, the group balance sheet remains the same. And therefore, the valuation I get will remain almost the same. Only thing that will happen is, I can bring about greater efficiency. But I can do that even without merging,” she said.

Any initiative of SBI is soon picked up by its associate banks, Bhattacharya said.

Published on August 18, 2015
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