The Government of India has given its nod to the merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with the country’s leading public sector bank, State Bank of India. Mahila bank was incorporated in the year 2013 and was inaugurated by former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh. BMB has about 103 branches and is present in all the states of the country. This move is aimed at providing banking services to women at a quicker pace. The ministry of Finance released a statement on Monday, March 20, 2017, stating that the affordable credit should reach to the women loan seekers and women-centric products should be propagated quickly through low cost of funds and wider network. This is going to enhance the availability of financial services to women of the country.
Since its inception, the bank has passed loans amounting to ₹ 192 crores to different women borrowers. SBI, on the other hand, has disbursed about ₹ 46,000 crores of loans to women. The major factor that played a key role in the merger was the large network of SBI in India. SBI has a wide and extensive network of more than 20,000 branches. The SBI group has some 126 all women exclusive branches in India while Mahila Bank has seven such branches. The women borrowers are bound to receive affordable credit and the same support at all the branches and not any specific one.
Last month, the government also approved the merger of five associates banks with the State Bank of India. This is the biggest merger in the history of Indian banking and will result in SBI emerging out as a banking behemoth. The bank will now have more than 50 crore customers. As a matter of fact, SBI has more than 2 Lakh employees and out of them, 22% of the workforce constitute women employees.