At around $600 billion or Rs 27,46,200 crore, the total banking assets in India are about the same as the world’s 25th largest bank, the Rabobank Group. India’s biggest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), has assets of $107 billion. Still, it’s only the world’s 84th largest bank its assets are less than 7 per cent of Barclays Bank, the world’s largest.
In a business where size matters most, the Indian banking sector is small and scattered. As on March 2006, there were 218 scheduled commercial banks, of which, the top 25 accounted for about 85 per cent of assets. Of these, 18 have the same owner (the government) and do the same thing, but any move to merge some of them is likely to run into a wall of Left opposition.
Opinion in The Indian Express, October 03, 2006