This Article is From Jul 12, 2014

Government Examining Issues Concerning PSU Bank Mergers: Financial Services Secretary

New Delhi: The Finance Ministry has said it is examining various issues pertaining to mergers of public sector banks and that there will be some forward movement in the current year itself.

"This year, we will start something (consolidation) and next year something. This is very much doable and which will further strengthen the banking industry," Financial Services Secretary G S Sandhu said at an event organised by Ficci on Saturday.

"Various issues on consolidation is under examination. So based on the merit, we will take up the consolidation. It would be a long haul. It would not be an easy process. It would not be easy to do it in one go. So, gradually we will take it up," he said.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in his Budget speech, "There have been some suggestions for consolidation of Public Sector Banks. Government, in principle, agrees to consider these suggestions."

Mr Jaitley, speaking to reporters after the Budget, had said that the consolidation could be between a big bank and its subsidiaries.

It may be recalled that talks have been going on for long for merging State Bank of India's subsidiaries with the parent bank.

SBI first merged State Bank of Saurashtra with itself in 2008. Two years later in 2010, State Bank of Indore was merged with SBI.

SBI, India's largest lender, has five associate banks - State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad.

Among these, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore are listed entities.