Not an April Fool? Vijaya Bank OUT, BoB IN! Ab Saath Hain Teen, Behtar Se Behtareen…

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Not an April Fool? Vijaya Bank OUT, Bank of Baroda IN! Ab Saath Hain Teen (Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank, Bank of Baroda), Behtar Se Behtareen…. Paiye Sab Kuch, Behtar Se Behtareen

Mangaluru: Talk about “Gujju Power” by our Gujju PM Narendra Modi to snatch away a powerful and respected Vijaya Bank from Kudla and merging it with a Gujju ‘Bank of Baroda’ originated in Vadodara (earlier Baroda, Gujarat) – How nice of a deal made by a man who is named as the “Chowkidar of India”? If you look at all the major newspapers of India, including the popular Kannada newspaper of DK/Udupi, there has been full-page advertisements announcing the merger of three banks into one, with messages in our National language-“Ab Saath Hain Teen, Behtar Se Behtareen….Paiye Sab Kuch, Behtar Se Behtareen”?

Last week, customers having accounts at various Vijaya Bank branches in Mangaluru had received a message stating that on 1 April 2019 Vijaya Bank will merge with Bank of Baroda and that all its services will remain unaffected. It informed the customers that they would be part of the third largest banking network of India from April 1 and that their current account number, debit and credit cards, net banking and mobile banking facility etc will continue to be available as before. Bank of Baroda is an Indian state-owned International banking and financial services company headquartered in Vadodara (earlier known as Baroda) in Gujarat, India. It is the second largest bank in India, next to State Bank Of India. Its headquarters is in Vadodara, it has a corporate office in Mumbai.

The bank was founded by the Maharaja of Baroda, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III on 20 July 1908. The bank, along with 13 other major commercial banks of India, was nationalized on 19 July 1969, by the Government of India and has been designated as a profit-making Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). In 1961, BoB merged in New Citizen Bank of India. BoB also opened a branch in Fiji. The next year it opened a branch in Mauritius. Bank of Baroda In 1963, BoB acquired Surat Banking Corporation in Surat, Gujarat. In 1965, BoB opened a branch in Guyana. In 1969, the Indian government nationalized 14 top banks including BoB.

Even though local customers in Mangaluru had received a message that their account numbers will remain the same, so also other facilities, but as per sources published in media recently, it mentioned that, with the merger of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with the Bank of Baroda, some things might change for the customers of the two banks. Since the banking operations of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank will be handed over to Bank of Baroda (BoB), the customers may get new passbooks, cheque books, debit and credit cards, and even new account numbers and customer IDs. This means that the customers will have to get their banking details updated with entities like the Income Tax Department, mutual funds, insurance companies, etc.

Vijaya Bank Founders’ Branch on LHH Road near Jyothi Circle, Mangaluru

Some aspects, like the interest rate on fixed deposits or recurring deposits, and existing loans, are not likely to change. Here’s a look at how the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda might affect their customers. What could change : New bank account numbers and customer IDs could be assigned to the customers; Customers will have to update their banking details with entities like the Income Tax Department, mutual funds, insurance companies, National Pension Scheme, etc, to incorporate the new account numbers and IFSC codes; Customers might have to fill new instruction forms for SIP and loan EMIs; New cheque books, passbooks, credit cards and debit cards might be issued; Some branches might be closed after consolidation. Customers of such branches are likely to be transferred to a different branch of Bank of Baroda.

What will remain unchanged: The interest rates for personal loans, home loans, auto loan, education loan, etc are not likely to change; and The interest paid to customers on fixed deposits or recurring deposits is expected to remain unchanged. The Supreme Court of India has dismissed the petitions by several bank associations to stay the merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, clearing the way for the amalgamation. Ahead of the merger, the government has decided to infuse Rs 5,042 crore into the Bank of Baroda by way of preferential allotment of equity shares of the bank during FY2018-19, as government’s investment.

According to the Scheme of Amalgamation, shareholders of Vijaya Bank will get 402 equity shares of BoB for every 1,000 shares held. In the case of Dena Bank, its shareholders will get 110 shares for every 1,000 shares of BoB. After the entity formed by the merger of BoB, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank will be second the third biggest in the Indian banking sector, by virtue of assets and businesses.

When the announcement was made a few months ago about the banks merger, locals and fans of Vijaya Bank were fumed, and many protests and efforts were made by an organization named ‘Vijaya Bank Ulisi Horata Samithi’, Congress leaders & party members, Vijaya Bank employees and customers, to retain the identity of the bank which took birth in coastal Karnataka, but all in vain. Despite all their efforts, it proved not fruitful, and the decision to merge Vijaya Bank into Bank of Baroda went forward- and the result is seen today when the signboard of Vijaya Bank will be replaced by Bank of Baroda.

But those who still love Vijaya Bank have decided to continue their fight in bringing back Vijaya Bank to its originality- and today, 1 April ‘Vijaya Bank Ulisi Horata Samithi’ will stage a protest in front of Vijaya Bank Founders’ Bank on LHH Road near Jyothi Circle, while District Congress Committee under the leadership of former minister Ramanath Rai and other party workers will protest in front of Mallikatta Vijaya Bank branch at 10.30 am. It is learnt that CPI (M) will also stage a protest in front of VB Founders’ Branch. Congress LS elections candidate Mithun Rai speaking during Congress Election Campaign inauguration had assured that elected, he would replace Bank of Baroda sign with Vijaya Bank sign within few months? Wow! But until then, customers whether they like it or not, have to deal with Bank of Baroda or switch their accounts to other banks.

With inputs from Business India

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