Chief of State bank of India (SBI) Arundhati Bhattacharya said the merger of five associate banks and Bhartiya Mahila Bank with the state-owned lender should be over by next March.
Services at around 80,000 bank branches in the country were hit on Friday as employees of public sector banks went on a one-day strike to protest against the proposed merger of SBI associates with the parent among other issues.
"People have to understand that the change is inevitable. There have been strikes at many occasions but we have to educate them and take them on board," she said on the sidelines of the launch SBI's wealth management offering called 'SBI Exclusif'.
Asked as to when the proposed merger would be complete, Bhattacharya said: "Timeline is around by the end of the financial year (for merger to get over)." On completion, the merger is likely create one of the largest banks in Asia.
In a nutshell
The merged entity will create a banking behemoth, which can compete with the largest in the world, with an asset base of Rs 37 lakh crore or over USD 555 billion. SBI alone has close to 16,500 branches, including 191 foreign offices, spread across 36 countries.
SBI 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. Of these, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Hyderabad are unlisted.