Amid opposition by political parties to the proposed merger of Kerala-based State Bank of Travancore with SBI, two independent directors of the bank today expressed concern over the manner in which the acquisition procedure is being followed and demanded transparency.
SBT is among the five associate banks of the State Bank of India in line for merger with the parent bank.
Addressing a press conference here, former IAS officer Sajen Peter and M C Jacob said due procedure and norms for acquisition of SBT had not been followed both in letter and spirit and there should be transparency in the merger deals.
“They (management of SBT and SBI) should come out with facts and figures and convince the general public and stakeholders that the merger of SBT with SBI is beneficial to all,” Peter, who is also Chairman of the Audit Committee Board of SBT, said.
“Only if facts are available, one can say whether the merger is going to be good or bad. But, the results of earlier merger in front of us were not so good,” he said when asked whether they are for merger or not.
Peter said SBT has made valuable contribution for the economic growth of the state. “SBT has been playing a unique role in the state’s development and has a market share of 23 per cent of deposits and 18 per cent of advances in Kerala”, he said.SBT’s NRI business is estimated at around 30 per cent in the state.
Various sections of the state including ruling CPI-M led LDF, Congress led UDF Opposition had opposed the merger of SBT with SBI holding that it would adversely affect the economic prospects of the state.
Kerala assembly had also recently passed a resolution against the merger and had asked the Centre and RBI to desist from the move to acquire SBT.
Other associate banks that would be acquired by SBI are State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur.