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Notes ban won’t affect merger of associate banks: SBI MD

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State Bank of India said the merger plan of associates with itself is on track and it should not get delayed due to the ongoing demonetisation process.

“No, I don’t think so,” SBI MD Rajnish Kumar said when asked if the merger of associate banks would be delayed due to the high-value currency withdrawal and its aftermath.

The merger of five associates and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) is planned to be wrapped up by 2016-17 end.

Asked about expectations from the monetary policy review to be unveiled on December 7, he said “very difficult to predict now because the monetary policy committee now decides. Maybe, like 25-50-basis point cut is what everybody expecting and no rate cut will be a bigger surprise”.

If the incremental CRR comes down, it will help banks pass on the benefit to customers, he said on the sidelines of Inclusive Finance Summit here.

On demonetisation, Kumar felt that the there would be salary and pension rush for the next 5-7 days. The deposit transaction will be slightly lower during the salary withdrawal period.

It is to be noted that the government earlier this year cleared the proposal to merge SBI with its five associate banks — State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad — and BMB.

In August, SBI had said all its associate banks along with BMB will be merged into it and that will add an additional Rs 8 lakh crore to its assets, potentially making it a banking behemoth with total assets of Rs 30 lakh crore, an increase of about 36 per cent.

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