India needs 4-5 SBI-size banks, says Sitharaman

India needs at least four or five different State Bank of India (SBI) size banks to meet the growing needs of the economy, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. She also urged Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to develop a digitised district-wise map of bank branches so that locations with no banking presence are identified to ensure that they either have a physical or digital footprint.

“One of the driving forces for the amalgamation (of banks) was that we need to scale up banking to meet the new changing and growing requirements of the economy. But that was thought of even before the pandemic. Now all the more reason why we would need four or five SBIs in the country,” Sitharaman said at the 74th AGM of the Indian Banks’ Association.

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