Lok Sabha passed bills Thursday clearing the merger of subsidiary banks of State Bank of India with the parent bank. The government said this consolidation would not only lead to cutting of losses but also increase capital base and the bank’s ability to give loan. Lok Sabha passed the bill to repeal the SBI (Subsidiary Banks) Act 1959 and State Bank of Hyderabad Act 1956, and to amend the State Bank of India Act 1955, following the merger of five associates with SBI.
MoS (Finance) Santosh Gangwar said with this merger, SBI enters the list of top 50 banks globally, at 45th place. “The merger will bring about increased capital base and increased ability to give loans. Also, small banks will get access to products like mutual funds,” he said.
Allaying apprehensions that the consolidation would lead to closing of branches wherever both the main SBI and the subsidiary had branches, thus leading to poorer access for customers, Gangwar said, “We want every person to have access to banking services . No bank branches will be closed down; rather wherever required, we will open branches.” He said the merger will help increase SBI’s scope of operation and will pose a challenge to private banks as it will work as per the requirements of the people. “The merger has been planned keeping in mind the benefit of people and going forward its benefits will be seen,” he added.
According to the statement of object and reasons of the State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Bill 2017, after the acquisition of the subsidiary banks by SBI, the subsidiary banks have ceased to exist and, therefore, it is necessary to repeal the SBI India (Subsidiary Banks) Act and the State Bank of Hyderabad Act.
Five associates and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank became part of SBI from April 1, catapulting the country’s largest lender into the list of top 50 banks in the world. The five associates are the State Banks of Bikaner & Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mysore, Patiala and Travancore. SBI had 90% shareholding in State Bank of Mysore, 75% in State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur and 79% in State Bank of Travancore.
Following the merger, the total customer base of SBI increased to 37 crore with a branch network of around 24,000 and nearly 59,000 ATMs. The merged entity began operation with a deposit base of more than Rs 26 lakh crore and advances level of Rs 18.50 lakh crore.
As per the bill, after the acquisition of all the subsidiary banks, it is no longer necessary to retain such provisions in the State Bank of India Act 1955. “Therefore, certain amendments are necessary in the said Act in so far as they relate to the subsidiary banks. The amendments are consequential in nature,” it says. During discussion on the bill, the Opposition argued that it was a way to gloss over rising nonperforming assets of banks which in SBI’s case had risen to close to 1.4 lakh crore.
Bill for sports university tabled MoS (Parliamentary Affairs) S S Ahluwalia introduced a bill seeking to establish India’s first exclusive sports university of international standards. Ahluwalia introduced the bill after question hour in the absence of MoS for Sports Vijay Goel, who is indisposed. The National Sports University Bill 2017 will facilitate the establishment of the university in Manipur. There are several sports institutes in the country but the university will have a wider canvas, encompassing disciplines like sports science, sports technology and high performance training.