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Government approves Mahila Bank merger with SBI for greater outreach
The Government has approved merger of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank with the country’s largest lender SBI to ensure greater banking outreach to women.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had last week cleared the merger of the two banks.
Explaining the rationale behind the merger, the finance ministry said the SBI group already has 126 exclusive all-women branches across the country while the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) has only seven.
“The proportion of administrative and managerial cost in the BMB is much higher to reach the same coverage. For the same cost, a much higher volume of loans to women could be given through the SBI,” it said.
The ministry said there was a need to achieve the objectives of affordable credit to women as well as propagation of women-centric products quickly through a wider network and lower cost of funds.
“The Government of India has decided to merge the BMB with the State Bank of India to ensure greater banking services outreach to a larger number of women, at a faster pace,” the ministry statement read.
In the three years since the BMB was established, it has extended loans of Rs 192 crore to women borrowers while the SBI group has provided loans of about Rs 46,000 crore to women borrowers.
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