The story of SBI is more than 200 years old. The Imperial Bank of India was formed by amalgamating the three Presidency banks. Later the Imperial Bank was nationalised.
A new debate on privatization has started after the Tata Group’s bid was approved in the auction of state-run Air India. Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal has meanwhile remarked that most of the public sector companies being sold to them are made by the private sector. You might not know that the country’s largest bank SBI has also been made by the private sector.
History of SBI is 200 years old
According to a Reserve Bank document (Memoranda to the Central Board and Committee of Central Board), the story of the State Bank of India began in 1806. Bank of Calcutta, one of the earliest banks in India, was established on June 2, 1806. Later its name was changed to Bank of Bengal. Similarly, the Bank of Bombay was established on 15 April 1840 and the Bank of Madras on 1 July 1843.
SBI came out in 1955
These three Presidency Banks were merged on 27 January 1921. After this the combined bank that came into existence was named as Imperial Bank of India. After the country’s independence in 1955, the government took control of the Imperial Bank of India. After nationalization, its name was changed and State Bank of India emerged.
SBI becomes the largest bank by merging several presidency banks
SBI’s journey to become the largest bank in the country began in 1959. By enacting the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, the government made eight banks of the princely state subsidiaries of SBI. Later Bank of Bihar, National Bank of Lahore, Krishnaram Badlev Bank of Scindia family, Bank of Cochin etc. were merged with SBI.
Later State Bank of Saurashtra, State Bank of Indore, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, Bharatiya Mahila Bank etc. subsidiaries were fully merged into SBI. was merged. This made SBI the largest bank in India.
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In 1969 Indira Gandhi government nationalized 14 banks
Before the nationalization of banks, almost all the banks were with the private sector. In 1969, 14 largest banks were made government. Later in 1980, six other private banks were also taken over by the government. Thus 20 new public sector banks came into existence. Later the number of public sector banks increased to 27. However, after the merger of 10 public sector banks last year, their number has now come down to 12.