The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India, on Tuesday said that the merger of State Bank of Indore with itself will be completed by the end of this fiscal. “(Merger will be complete) before this financial year...by March,” said SBI Chairman O P Bhatt here.

This will be second such merger of its associate banks.

In August 2008, the bank had merged State Bank of Saurashtra with itself.

Post merger, the SBI will be left with five associate banks namely State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad.

Among these, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore are listed on bourses.

Last year, the central board of the bank gave approval for the merger. Following this, the Government of India also gave an approval to the merger proposal.

SBI holds 98 per cent stake in the State Bank of Indore that posted a net profit of Rs. 279 crore in 2008-09.

Meanwhile, the SBI launched a new product called Defence Salary Package-Navy which offers free and concessional services to the officers and other naval personnel.

The customised product for Navy includes free drafts, free cheque book, free fund transfers to any of the SBI Group’s about 16,000 branches and free ATM cards, Bhatt said.

The bank would also offer home, auto and personal loans to Navy personnel at 50 basis points lower than the floor rate.

SBI plans to add 5,000 ATMs during the year and intends to locate a large number of ATMs to serve Navy formations just as many of its branches are already located in difficult and arduous terrain, he said.

The bank also has special grievance cell for the defence personal as well as defence banking advisers, he said.

Besides, the bank is also planning to roll out tailor made products for them, he said, adding that the debit card for the Navy personnel will come with host of features.

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