Despite political opposition and pending government approval, state-owned lender State Bank of India (SBI) has set up a crack team to prepare a framework for amalgamation of its five subsidiaries with itself, as per the media reports.
"A team of 15-20 members has been set up and it has started working on the framework for the merger. The team is headed by a general manager and there are a few deputy general managers," a source said, quoted PTI.
The team has been formed under the supervision of associate and subsidiaries department, which is being headed by Managing Director, V G Kannan.
"If everything works fine, in 3-4 months the process is likely to begin," he said.
Last month, the bank's board had submitted a proposal to the government for merging its five subsidiaries and first women-oriented lender BMB with itself.
"The idea is to merge all the five associate banks at the same time. They are on the same technology platform, which SBI has. It will not be a difficult process," the source added.
Recently, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the Centre is evaluating the merger proposal and will soon respond.
Jaitley had also said that government's nod to the proposal is expected soon.
However, Communist Party of India General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy on Sunday said Telangana assembly should pass a resolution opposing the amalgamation and added, the state will lose revenue if the SBH is merged with the parent SBI.
On June 9, the newly inducted CPI (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front government in Kerala had opposed the merger of the SBT with the SBI, becoming the first state government to lodge a protest.
The merged entity will create a banking behemoth, which can compete with the largest in the world with an asset base of almost Rs 37 lakh crore, with 22,500 branches and 58,000 ATMs as on December 2015. SBI alone has close to 16,500 branches, including 198 foreign offices spread across 36 countries.
Last month, Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, had said, "We have 27 public sector banks right now. When the dust settles, I think we will have, may be, 8-10 very competitive banks. Some of them are going to be large scale global players, while some are going to be differentiated banks."