MUMBAI: Private sector lender Federal Bank on Tuesday said it had started the financial diligence of Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB) for a merger proposal between the two lenders.

“A financial due diligence of Catholic Syrian Bank has commenced for considering a merger proposal between both the banks,” Federal Bank said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange .

The bank started the due diligence after it received an approval from its board for the acquisition, the Kerala-based Federal Bank said. Federal Bank, which has over 600 branches across the country, posted a net profit of Rs. 500 crore in 2008-09.

During the quarter ended June 2009, the net profit of Federal Bank doubled to Rs. 136 crore, against Rs 68.15 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago. Kerela-based Catholic Syrian Bank has a network of 363 branches and one extension counter which includes NRI and service branches. CSB has targeted a total business volume of Rs. 20,000 crore by 2010.