The big news of the day came when the RBI declared the merger of all the branches of five associate banks to the parent SBI.

“Customers, including depositors of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad,State Bank of Mysore,State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore will be treated as customers of State Bank of India with effect from April 1, 2017,” the RBI said in a notification.

April 1, will mark the beginning day for these new SBI branches.

The merger puts the SBI in a very towering position by becoming a lender of global proportions with an asset base of Rs 37 trillion (Rs 37 lakh crore) or over USD 555 billion, 22,500 branches and 58,000 ATMs. And having over 50 crore customers.

This will lead to the change in the statuses of the employees and officers except for the board of directors and executive trustees of the associate banks into the employees of SBI.

On the same lines the another announcement of the merger of Bhartiya Mahila Bank with SBI is a pathbreaking move for greater banking outreach to women.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had last week cleared the merger of the two banks.

Explaining the rationale behind the merger, the Finance Ministry said the SBI group already has 126 exclusive all-women branches across the country while the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) has only seven.