PNB may lead next round of PSU bank merger in Sept


New Delhi, May 22 (IANS): Punjab National Bank may be centre of the next round of PSU bank merger in September where the Delhi-based lender could take some smaller PSU banks under its ambit.

The names of Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Andhra Bank and Allahabad Bank are being considered for the merger. Sources said the move would add muscle to a big bank like PNB, which has just emerged from a dark phase of fraud by diamond merchant Nirav Modi and also has posted handsome profits.

The lender could be suggested to consider any three of the four banks -- Syndicate Bank, OBC, Allahabad Bank and Andhra Bank -- for a merger.

Sources said bank merger has always been a priority and that the action would start after May 23, after the Lok Sabha results are announced.

"But the template of an urgent action plan is getting ready", said a source.

The rationale would be a strong bank holding the mantle with two small or mid-sized banks. As part of the process, there would be several deliberations and banks would be formally approached over this to be taken up by their boards, said the source.

PNB had a net profit of Rs 248 crore in Q3 of last fiscal and had a revenue of Rs 13,035 crore.

Andhra Bank had a net loss of Rs 1,234 crore in Q4 against high NPAs. Allhabad Bank Q4 net loss widened to Rs 3,834 crore on high NPA provisions.

North India based OBC had posted a Rs 202 crore net profit for the Q4. Syndicate Bank's Q4 Net Profit was Rs 128 crore.

Syndicate Bank's NPAs are high, though the bank is not under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA).

Andhra Bank is also a non-PCA bank so is OBC which came out of the PCA in Q3.

Allahabad Bank too came out of PCA in Q3. But all four would not be considered for the merger with PNB, said sources.

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