RBI former Governor, Raghuram Rajan, on the sidelines of the launch of his book "I do what I do" urged banks to merge only when healthy as several of them are still struggling with a huge pile of stressed assets. The apex banking body and the banker to the bank, RBI and the government are considering merger or consolidation in the space to have fewer PSU banks. But this comes at a time when the landscape surrounding banking companies does not seem favourable with weaker balance sheets due to capital constraints and huge NPAs.
Currently there are as many as 21 PSU Banks. At the beginning of the current financial year 2017-18, five associate banks of SBI and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank consolidated with SBI. The consolidation or merger of banks' implies merger of their balance sheets, customers as well as customer database.
Here are some of the changes that consolidation among banks would result in for its customer segment:
Upon merger or consolidation of banks, customers of the banks' ( involved in the deal or merger) continue to be account holders but now of the merged entity.
1. The accountholders will continue to have access to basic banking services and deposits with the bank will remain safe and intact.
2. The interest on savings account shall now be of the bank into which the merger has been effected.
3. For FDs, interest will remain unchanged until the time of maturity.
4. For cash withdrawals as well as payments, cheque book of old banks shall be allowed to be used.
5. For internet banking, after the merger you will be re-directed to the merged entity's portal. However old credentials i.e login Id and password shall continue to remain valid.
6. The MICR and IFSC code, used for the purpose of online transfer of funds, shall also be changed but not with immediate effect. Any changes in these codes shall be communicated to customers well in advance.
7. Cheque books with new codes and change in branch address if any, in case your home bank branch has closed down, shall also be issued in due course of time.
8. After new codes are implemented, you as a banking customer shall also be required to issue new standing instructions in respect of the ECS transactions, including EMIs or some of the investments for which the amount is auto-debited from your bank account.
9. The existing loans that you have with a merging bank will see no change in respect of terms and conditions and interest rates.
10. Also, there can be a shift in the personal experience you had with your banker earlier as now the size as well as its customer base has seen a change.