Nationalised Banks in India

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The Base

The history of nationalization of Indian banks dates back to the year 1955 when the Imperial Bank of India was nationalized and re-christened as State Bank of India (under the SBI Act, 1955). Later on July 19, 1960, the 7 subsidiaries of SBI viz. State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Indore, State Bank of Saurashtra (SBS), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Patiala (SBP), and State Bank of Travancore (SBT) were also nationalized with deposits more than 200 crores.

In the Indian banking scenario, most public sector banks are referred to as Nationalised Banks. This classification is, however, inaccurate. According to the IMF (International Monetary Fund), “Nationalisation” is defined as the taking of control by the government over assets and over a corporation, usually by acquiring the majority or the whole stake in the corporation. In 1949, during the early years of the country’s independence, India’s central bank, the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) became the first bank to be nationalised. This was an important move since the RBI would soon become the regulatory authority for banking in India. Most Indian banks at that time were privately owned. Thus the Indian government then recognized the need to bring them under some form of government control to be able to finance India’s growing financial needs.

List of Nationalised Banks in India and Their Head offices

Here’s the list of the 19 nationalised banks in India that are currently listed on the RBI website –

S.No.Bank NameYear of NationalisationHead Offices of Indian Nationalized Banks
1Allahabad Bank1969The Chairman
Allahabad Bank
Head Office, 2, Netaji Subhas Road
Calcutta-700 001.
2Andhra Bank1980The Chairman
Andhra Bank,
Andhra Bank Building Sultan Bazar, P.B.No.161
Hyderabad-500 001.
3Bank of Baroda1969The Chairman
Bank of Baroda,
Baroda Corporate Centre, C-26, G-Block, Bandra-Kurla Complex,
Bandra (East), Mumbai-400 051.
4Bank of India1969The Chairman
Bank of India,
Head Office Express Towers, Nariman Point
Mumbai-400 021.
5Bank of Maharashtra1969The Chairman
Bank of Maharashtra,
Lok Mangal 1501, Shivaji Nagar, Post Box No.919
Pune-411 005.
6Canara Bank1969The Chairman
Canara Bank,
112, Jayachamarajendra Road Post Box No.6648
Bangalore-560 002.
7Central Bank of India1969The Chairman
Central Bank of India,
Central Office Chander Mukhi, Nariman Point
Mumbai-400 021.
8Corporation Bank1980The Chairman
Corporation Bank,
Bharath Building G.H.S. Road, Post Box No.88
Mangalore-575 001.
9Dena Bank1969The Chairman
Dena Corporate Centre
C-10 G Block Bandra Kurla Complex Bandra East
Mumbai 400 051.
10Indian Bank1969The Chairman
Indian Bank
Building P.B.No.1384, 31, Rajaji Road
Chennai-600 001.
11Indian Overseas Bank1969The Chairman
Indian Overseas Bank,
Central Office 762, Anna Salai, P.B.No.3765
Chennai-600 002.
12Oriental Bank of Commerce1980The Chairman
Oriental Bank of Commerce
E-Block, Connaught Place, P.B.No.329
New Delhi-110 001.
13Punjab & Sind Bank1969The Chairman
Punjab & Sind Bank,
Bank House 4th floor , 21, Rajendra Place
New Delhi-110 008.
14Punjab National Bank1969The Chairman
Punjab National Bank
7, Bhikaji Cama Place, Africa Avenue
New Delhi-110 066.
15Syndicate Bank1969The Chairman
Syndicate Bank
Post Box No.1, Manipal-576 119
Karnataka State.
16UCO Bank1969The Chairman
UCO Bank,
Head Office 10, Biplabi Trailokya Maharaj , Sarani
Calcutta-700 001.
17Union Bank of India1980The Chairman
Union Bank of India,
Union Bank Building Central Office,
239, Backbay Reclamation Post Box No.93A,
Nariman Point,
Mumbai-400 021.
18United Bank of India1969The Chairman
United Bank of India
16, Old Court House Street
Calcutta-700 001.
19Vijaya Bank1980The Chairman
Vijaya Bank
, Administrative Office Janardhan Towers No.2, Residency Road
Bangalore-560 025.

Nationalisation in Two Phases

By the early 1960s, the Government of India realized that a significant share of deposits coming from the masses of India was controlled by 14 privately owned commercial banks. Indian agriculture and industries were booming and the need for finance was high. Financial regulations were also very important at that time since those would help shape the nature of the country’s economy for decades to come. Nationalisation became the watchword even the state airline, Air India, was nationalised in 1953. Acquisition of the Imperial Bank of India in 1955 was the next big step.

With Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s taking over as the Prime Minister of India, the Indian National Congress rallied for a state takeover of some of the major banks in the country. In what can be deemed a rather hasty move, the government promulgated an ordinance - the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Ordinance, 1969 - thereby nationalising all the 14 banks that were under consideration with effect from the midnight of 19 July 1969. As a follow-up to passing the ordinance, the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Bill was taken up by the Parliament for discussion. It received a clear majority as well as the assent of the President within a month of issuing the ordinance.

In 1980, when Mrs. Gandhi was re-elected as the Prime Minister for her third term at the PMO, she initiated a second spate of bank nationalization. This time about six banks were nationalised and the Government of India controlled over 90 percent of the banking business in the country. Of the 20 banks that were nationalised, New Bank of India was later (in 1993) merged with Punjab National Bank.

Why were these banks nationalised?

The nationalization of banks was a significant move undertaken by the government for the development of the country. Firstly, it instilled public confidence in the banking system encouraging the masses to save and invest. It allowed for elimination of regional bias and promoted opening up of branches in the remote areas of the country as well, thus strengthening the banking network. By elimination of monopoly or credit competition, nationalization streamlined banking practices in the country, thereby directing funds where it was most necessary – towards industrial and sectoral development – as planned by the RBI and the Indian government.

Is SBI a nationalised bank?

The State Bank of India was founded as the Imperial Bank of India in January 1921 through the merger of Bank of Calcutta, Bank of Bombay and Bank of Madras. In 1955, the Reserve Bank of India bought a 60-percent stake in the bank and renamed it State Bank of India (SBI Act, 1955). During the nationalisation of banks in 1969, and again in 1980, SBI was not added to the list of the ‘nationalised banks’ since it was already a state-owned financial institution. In 2008, the Government of India took over the RBI's stake in the bank to avoid any conflict of interests within the RBI (which both owned and regulated the SBI). Now though the SBI and its subsidiaries are often referred to as a nationalised bank, it is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) and not one of the nationalised banks of India. It is India's largest banking and financial services enterprise as of now.

Similarly, IDBI Bank Ltd. is also a public sector bank but not one of the nationalised banks of India. IDBI Bank was established in 1964 (IDBI Act, 1964) to aid developmental finance in the country. Initially, it was a financial institution and did not participate in core banking activities. IDBI Bank was inducted into banking in 2003 and was merged with IDBI Ltd. - a company, in which the Government of India holds about 70-percent stake, in 2005.

Last Updated on June 01, 2015

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