PNB scam fallout: Public sector banks begin to rationalise overseas operations, closing down non-viable branches

New Delhi: The state-owned lenders have started rationalising the overseas operations by consolidating 35 operations and closing down non-viable branches as part of the clean and responsible banking initiative.

As per the banking sector agenda approved at the PSB Manthan in November last year, public sector banks (PSBs) have to examine all 216 overseas operations.

The rationalisation of overseas operations of banks is significant as jewellery designer Nirav Modi 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.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

Presently, public sector banks have about 165 overseas branches, besides subsidiaries, joint ventures and representative offices. State Bank of India has the 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).

"PSBs to consolidate 35 overseas operations without affecting international presence of PSBs in these countries; 69 ops identified for further examination. Move towards cost efficiencies and synergies in overseas mkt," Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said in a tweet.

Expressing government's commitment to 'clean and responsible banking,' the tweet said the overseas operations of the state-owned banks will be rationalised.

As part of the rationalisation of overseas operations, the graphic that accompanied the tweet said, "PSBs to consolidate 35 operations. 69 operations identified for possible consolidation. Includes bank branches, remittance centres and representative offices".

If further said: "All 216 PSB operations to be examined. Non-viable operations in overseas market to be closed for cost efficiency and synergy. Operations in some geography to be consolidated. Consolidate equity stake in joint ventures having multiple PSB partners."

Published Date: Mar 01, 2018 19:00 PM | Updated Date: Mar 01, 2018 19:02 PM

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