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Tuesday, Sep 13, 2005

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Merger of associates not on SBI radar — Group banks to have common tech platform, processes

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Marthanda Varma, the head of the Travancore Royal Family, inaugurating the 60th Foundation Day celebrations of State Bank of Travancore in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. To his right are Mr A.K.Purwar, Chairman, SBI Group, and Mr O.P. Bhatt, Managing Director, SBT. — S. Mahinsha

Thiruvananthapuram , Sept. 12

STATE Bank of India (SBI) is currently not looking at the legal merger of associate banks with itself, said Mr A. K. Purwar, Chairman, State Bank Group.

Speaking to newspersons after inaugurating the core banking solution network of State Bank of Travancore (SBT) on Monday, he pointed out that the `virtual merger' of SBI with its associate banks was on.

This means that banks in the State Bank Group will have a common technology platform and business processes, he explained. However a legal merger of the banks would have to wait for "an appropriate time," he added.

With the commissioning of the core banking solution, all 671 branches of SBT are now networked for offering the bank's customers anytime, anywhere banking.

By December, all associate banks of SBI will be brought under the core banking network, Mr Purwar said.

All banks in the State Bank Group, including SBI's branches, will be on the network by the end of 2006.

Mr Purwar said he was confident that SBT, which is celebrating its diamond jubilee, will achieve its profitability targets for the current financial year.

The target is to make SBT one of the top 10 banks in the country within the next 12 months, he pointed out. The bank is also working on an incentive scheme for its employees.

Mr O. P. Bhatt, Managing Director, SBT, who was also present on the occasion, said the bank was testing software for the computerised audit of its branches.

Mr Purwar also launched bank's `multi-city cheques.' This service offers cheques that are payable on a par at all SBT branches across the country.

Commenting on SBT's performance in Kerala, he said that the bank had developed products for specific industries such as tourism.

Similarly, the bank had also developed a loan scheme for nurses going abroad, he added.

The bank has disbursed educational loans to the tune of Rs 420 crore in the State.

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