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Home / Industry / Banking /  PSU Bank merger comes in force on 1 April: How it impacts customers

If you are a customer of eight public sector banks (PSB), which are getting merged, there are some actions you will need to take.

The eight banks that are going for the merger include Vijaya Bank, Corporation Bank, Andhra Bank, Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, United Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Dena Bank.

Depending on the bank, there could be a change in account number, cheque book, cards, Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Code (MICR) change.

Chequebooks

From 1 April, the cheque books of the banks getting merged will not be valid. You will need to get new chequebooks from the anchor banks (in which others are merged).

According to the banks' websites, for example, the chequebooks of Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India will be valid only until 31 March. The two banks are merged with Punjab National Bank.

Some banks could also offer more time to customers as the Reserve Bank of India has allowed some banks to continue with the old chequebooks for another quarter or two. For example, Syndicate Bank customer can use their chequebooks until 30 June.

You will need to track your banks' developments to know when can you continue using the chequebooks. However, if you have given post-dated cheques, you will need to replace them with a new one as soon as you get the new chequebook.

If possible, before the merger, get an updated statement of your account and preserve it.

Money transfer

Even in this case, the IFSC and MICR code will change for some banks and will remain the same for others.

In some banks, like Union Bank of India, the account number has not changed. Only the IFSC code has changed. Every bank migration is different.

You will again need to check with your bank on what has changed and what has not. Accordingly, you will need to change your ECS instructions for loans and other payments such as life insurance and mutual fund investments.

If there's a lack of clarity and the ECS bounces, ensure that you transfer the money online to your loan account so that the lending bank doesn't report you as delinquent.

Deposits and loans

If you have taken a loan from the merging banks, the anchor bank will streamline the process. For some, there could be updated terms and conditions and rates. If you are not intimated yet, do check with the bank.

As far as fixed deposits are concerned, banks will not change the interest rates mid-way. But on renewal, the anchor bank may align the rates with theirs.

With most banks, customers can continue to use their old cards till expiry, following which the new bank's cards would be issued.

The merger is causing problems for customers. But make it your responsibility that you keep track of all the information. Taking the bank to the task will be difficult and would require more efforts. You should be proactive now.

(Do you have personal finance queries? Send them to mintmoney@livemint.com and get them answered by industry experts).

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