By Sarita Chaganti Singh and Nikunj Ohri
(Reuters) – A committee of Indian lawmakers will hold discussions with four government-owned banks early next year under banking laws which among other things govern mergers and acquisitions, according to a government document.
The meeting will also include “informal discussions” with India’s central bank over the law governing its functioning and regulatory supervision, besides separate deliberations with five insurance companies over the country’s insurance laws, said the document.
Informal discussions will be held with representatives of UCO Bank and Union Bank of India on January 2, 2024 and between Bank of Maharashtra and Bank of India on January 6, 2024 in western cities of Mumbai and Goa, said the document issued on Nov. 16.
It did not specify reasons for the talks.
A meeting with Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, Life Insurance Corporation, SBI Life Insurance, National Insurance Co, Oriental Insurance and the New India Assurance Co is also proposed on Jan. 2.
Two Indian finance ministry sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that no proposal to merge the public sector banks is being considered by the government and that the discussions were part of ‘routine exercise.’ An email sent to the country’s federal finance ministry remained unanswered.
Indian government, in 2019, announced the merger of 10 state-owned banks into four lenders.
Government owned banks still account for over 60% of India’s banking system by assets and deposits.
(This story has been corrected to change ‘lawyers’ to ‘lawmakers’ in the headline)
(Reporting by Dhwani Pandya; Editing by Michael Perry)