New Delhi, Mar 20: The government on Monday gave its nod to the merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI). “Government has decided to merge Bharatiya Mahila Bank with the State Bank of India for greater banking services outreach to women,” said the government. The merger of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank with SBI will be completed within three months.

In its statement, the government said the decision to merge BMB with SBI has been taken in view of the advantage of the large network of SBI among other things. According to the government, the merger of the BMB and the SBI will help to achieve the objectives of affordable credit to women as well as propagation of women-centric products through a wider network and lower cost of funds.

“In the three years since BMB was established, it has extended loans of Rs 192 crores to women borrowers, while the SBI group has provided loans of about Rs.46,000 crore to women borrowers.  SBI has a large outreach of more than 20,000 branches and lowest cost of funds in the sector.  Out of the total workforce of around 2 lakh employees in SBI, 22% are women. SBI group already has 126 exclusive all-women branches across the country while BMB has only seven. The proportion of administrative and managerial cost in 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 SBI,” said the government.