New Delhi, March 20 :The government on Monday said it has decided to merge the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with the State Bank of India (SBI) to ensure greater banking services outreach to more women.
"The decision has been taken in view of the advantage of the large network of SBI," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
"The objectives of affordable credit to women as well as propagation of women-centric products need to be quickly achieved through a wider network and lower cost of funds," it said.
"SBI group already has 126 exclusive all-women branches across the country while BMB has only seven.
"The proportion of administrative and managerial cost in BMB is much higher to reach the same coverage. For the same cost, a much higher volume of loans to women could be given through SBI," it said.
In the three years since BMB was set up in 2013, it has extended loans of Rs 192 crore to women borrowers. The SBI group has provided loans of about Rs 46,000 crore to women.
SBI has more than 20,000 branches. Out its workforce of around 2 lakh, 22 per cent are women.