The central government has extended the tenure of Arundhati Bhattacharya as Chairman of State Bank of India for a period of one year with effect from Oct 7, 2016 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

This extension comes at a time when India’s largest bank is in the midst of amalgamating its five associate banks – State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, and State Bank of Travancore --- with itself and purging its balance sheet of bad loans.

The amalgamation of associate banks as well as the Bharatiya Mahila Bank with SBI is expected to be completed by March-end 2017.

Bhattacharya was appointed Chairman in August 2013 for a period of three years. Earlier there was speculation that she would get an extension of six months.