Andhra Bank fades into history

Post-amalgamation no major change for customers for now

March 31, 2020 08:25 pm | Updated 08:25 pm IST - HYDERABAD

The iconic landmark for denizens of Hyderabad, Andhra Bank’s old headquarters in Koti, is set to get a makeover with a new name.

The iconic landmark for denizens of Hyderabad, Andhra Bank’s old headquarters in Koti, is set to get a makeover with a new name.

Come April 1, it will be curtains for Andhra Bank as one of the oldest and well-known household names in the region gets amalgamated with Union Bank of India.

A part of the Central government plan to create four larger banks by merging 10, the move will see Andhra Bank over time coming to be identified as Union Bank of India.

While its fading into history is certain, what, however, will remain in public memory is the long association it built with lakhs of customers, earning their trust and rendering decades of service. For the Telugu States, it will be second, home grown bank they will have to let go. State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) was the first when it got merged with the State Bank of India (SBI) in April 2017.

Under the present plan of the Centre, four sets of merger will come into force on Wednesday. One of them will see Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank amalgamating into Union Bank of India. The combined entity will be the 5th largest public sector bank and will have the 4th largest branch network of any bank in India, Union Bank of India said.

Hoary history

Andhra Bank was founded by freedom fighter Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya and commenced business on November 28, 1923 with a paid up capital of ₹ 1 lakh and an authorised capital of ₹10 lakh. The present network of the bank comprises nearly 2,900 branches and almost 3,800 ATMs.

Union Bank of India Managing Director and CEO Rajkiran Rai G. had recently said the combined entity will have 9,500 branches and 12,000 ATMs across the country. Of the 9,500 branches, 700 plus are to be rationalised because of their proximity. But it will not happen immediately. Maybe around 300 branches will be rationalised in the first year, he had said.

Thus it is expected to be business as usual when Andhra Bank customers walk into their branches, for some time April 1 onwards. Sources in the bank said for now it will be a balance sheet merger. While other changes were on cards, their implementation has slowed down because of the COVID-19 triggered lockdown. Clarity on various other aspects was also awaited, the Andhra Bank official, who did not wish to be named, said.

Technical integration

Mr. Rai had said the amalgamation will create an employee base of 75,000, of which 37,000 are from Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank put together. He said the technology integration is likely to take one year.

FAQs on Union Bank of India website said all branches of the three banks will continue to operate for now. There will be no closure of ATMs for now. The existing account number, IFSC code, MICR code, debit card number will continue even after amalgamation. Existing cheque books and pass books will continue to be valid and any change will be communicated in advance. Post amalgamation, customers of Corporation Bank and Andhra Bank will be able to access Union Bank of India’s ATMs and vice versa without any additional charges.

(With PTI inputs)

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