'NPAs won't rise with merger'

'NPAs won't rise with merger'
State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman and Managing Director Arundhati Bhattacharya has assured that the merger will not lead to a substantial rise in non-performing assets.

“We do not expect any nasty suprises on NPAs in the near future. The bank had already started preparing early and has made additional provisions of Rs 8,600 crore over and above what is needed to make after the asset quality review ordered by the Reserve Bank of India,” Arundhati said addressing reporters.

SBI has merged five of its subsidiaries including State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore with itself from April 5, a move which will catapult the bank to being among the top-50 banks by assets globally.

According to Arundhati, the entire merger process should be completed within the first quarter of the current fiscal itself. “The data merger of the subsidiaries will start on April 24 and it will happen every weekend. The granular level data merger will be completed by May 27,” Arundhati said.

Bharatiya Mahila Bank has already been integrated with effect from April 1. The complete integration of all the five subsidiaries should be completed within the first quarter of the current fiscal itself, she added.

Meanwhile, ahead of the RBI monetary policy this week, SBI has reduced benchmark lending rate by 0.15% to 9.10%, a move that will lower EMIs for borrowers.

Base rate or the minimum lending rate of the bank has been reduced from 9.25% to 9.10% effective April 1.

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