Dena Bank, Bank of Baroda and Vijaya Bank to be merged

Dena Bank, Bank of Baroda and Vijaya Bank to be merged
All three banks will continue to work independently post-merger

Three state-owned banks – Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, and Dena Bank – will be merged to create the country’s third-largest lender as part of the government’s efforts to revive credit and economic growth.

The move comes in the backdrop of top lender State Bank of India’s consolidation last year, when it merged with five of its subsidiary banks and taking over Bharatiya Mahila Bank, a niche state-run lender for women.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while announcing the plan on Monday, said the merger will make the banks stronger and sustainable as well as increase their lending ability.

The merger was necessitated as bank lending was becoming weak and hurting corporate sector investments, the minister said.

Further, many banks were in a fragile condition due to excessive lending and ballooning NPAs, he said.

“This amalgamated entity will increase banking operations,” he said.

As was in the case of SBI, no employee of the three banks would have service conditions that are adverse to their present one.

The government owns majority stakes in 21 lenders, which account for more than two-thirds of banking assets in Asia’s third-biggest economy.

But these PSU banks also account for the lion’s share of bad loans or NPAs plaguing the sector and need crores of rupees in new capital in the next two years to meet global Basel III capital norms.

Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said bank boards of the three banks will examine the amalgamation proposal. “The merger will help improve operational efficiency and customer services.”

The amalgamated bank would be the third largest bank in India and will be a strong competitive lender with economies of scale, he said adding the three would have synergies for network, low-cost deposits, and subsidiaries.

While the employees’ interest will be protected, brand equity will be preserved, he said, adding that capital support to the merged entity of Dena Bank, Vijaya Bank and BoB would be ensured.

The three banks will continue to work independently post-merger.

With agency inputs

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