The state-owned banks have started rationalising overseas operations by consolidating 35 operations and closing down non-viable branches as part of the clean and responsible banking initiative. The consolidation oncludes bank branches, remittance centres and representative offices.
It will be without affecting international presence of PSBs in these countries. Moreover, 69 operations also have been identified for further examination. It is part of government’s commitment to ‘clean and responsible banking and move towards cost efficiencies and synergies in overseas market.
The rationalisation of overseas operations of banks comes at the time when jewellery designer Nirav Modi had allegedly cheated Punjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs.12,700 crore in connivance with PNB staff and officials of overseas branches of other state-owned banks.
Presently, public sector banks have about 165 overseas branches, besides subsidiaries, joint ventures and representative offices. State Bank of India (SBI) has largest number of overseas branches (52) followed by Bank of Baroda (50) and Bank of India (29). The state-owned banks have largest number of branches in United Kingdom (32) followed by Hong Kong and UAE (13 each) and Singapore (12). As per the banking sector agenda approved at PSB Manthan in November 2017 public sector banks (PSBs) have to examine all 216 overseas operations.