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After merger, rationalistion of SBI branches will happen

State Bank of India (SBI) Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya on Tuesday confirmed that after the merger of SBI with its associate lenders, rationalisation of branches has to happen, because one cannot have an associate branch and an SBI branch sitting side-by-side.

Addressing delegates at an SBI meet here, Bhattacharya said that she felt it is a waste of resources. "We are conscious of that and we will use those resources elsewhere. Redeployment will happen," she said.

Earlier this year, the Cabinet gave its approval for the merger of SBI, its associate lenders and Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB), which would make the state-owned lender a global-sized bank.

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

State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, and State Bank of Travancore are listed. The merged entity will become a banking behemoth, which could compete with the largest in the world, with an asset base of Rs 37 lakh crore (over $555 billion), 22,500 branches and 58,000 ATMs. It will have over 50 crore customers.

SBI had said all its associate banks and BMB will be merged into it, which will add an additional Rs 8 lakh crore to its assets. It has close to 16,500 branches, including 191 foreign offices across 36 countries. After merger, SBI is eyeing to be among top 10 banks globally from 45. When asked how soon it would happen, Bhattacharya said, "It is difficult to say at this moment. However, it all depends on how the Indian economy grows, because in the top 10, there are three Chinese banks. The Chinese economy is growing rapidly and in turn the banks are growing."

State Bank of India Chief General Manager (Bangalore Circle) Rajni Mishra said, "Today, Bangalore Circle has a business of Rs 1,22,000 crore and we have been growing at 16% year-on-year. We look forward for a rewarding and satisfying financial year."

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