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The State Bank of India

The State Bank of India is the biggest bank in India and it traces its roots to the Bank of Calcutta of June 2nd, 1806 and thus making it the oldest commercial bank in India.

In January 2nd, 1809 it was renamed the Bank of Bengal, making it the first ever joint stock bank of the British India having been established under the sponsorship of the Government of Bengal.

Later, in 15th April, 1841 and 1st July 1843 the Banks of Bombay and Madras were established respectively and the three banks dominated the banking sector in India until 27th, January, 1921 when they were merged to form the Imperial Bank of India.

It was renamed the State Bank of India upon becoming a nationalized bank of India in 1955 where 60% of its shares were bought by the Reserve Bank of India which the government of India later took over.

This was culminated by the launch of the Five Year Plan of Independent India in 1951 that aimed at boosting in particular the rural sector and the overall economy of India. Before this plan the banking industry in India had been confined to the urban areas leaving the rural areas lagging way behind in development.

Thus as an effort to serve the entire economy as a whole and in particular the rural sector, the Survey Committee made the recommendation that a state-partnered and state-sponsored bank be introduced and hence the birth of the State Bank of India.

This resulted in the strengthening of the State Bank of India and in 1959, following the enactment of the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act; it was empowered to take over the former State-associated.

The headquarters of the State Bank of India are located in Mumbai and it has a vast network of branches all over the sub continent of India that are said to number 10,000 in addition to 14 local head offices located around the country.

Its very wide array of services include Agriculture/Rural Banking, NRI Services, ATM Services, Demat Services, Corporate Banking, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, International Banking, Safe Deposit Locker, RBIEFT, E-Pay, E-Rail, SBI Vishwa Yatra Foreign Travel Card, Broking Services, Gift Cheques as well as a mini array of personal banking services.

Today, it boasts a huge asset base of $126 billion and its management is headed by Mr. Om Prakash Bhatt who is the chairman of the bank.

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