Mumbai: State Bank of India plans to merge with its wholly owned associate bank, State Bank of Saurashtra (SBS), after obtaining regulatory approval.
The move is seen as a first step towards merging with all seven of its associate banks and subsequently it would also merge with State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Patiala.
Industry sources say that SBI is keen to consolidate its position in position in the market as a leading player, having been under some threat from the second-largest lender ICICI Bank. According to analysts, this move could be a result of SBI wanting to spur its drive to consolidate.
SBS is the smallest of the associate banks, operating mainly in regions where SBI does not have a large presence. The other associate banks of SBI are State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Indore.
SBI plus its associates have more than 10,000 branches and 200,000 employees, and together they control nearly a quarter of India’s banking business.