History of Banking in India : Phase-II
The Second Phase of banking in India starts from 1935 when Reserve Bank of India was established. Between the period of 1911-1948, there were more than 1000 banks in India, almost all small banks. The Reserve Bank of India was constituted in 1934 as an apex Bank, however without major government ownership. Immediately after the independence, the Government of India came up with the Banking Companies Act 1949. This act was later changed to Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act 1949. Further, the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act of 1965 gave extensive powers to the Reserve Bank of India and via this act, the Reserve Bank of India was made the Central Banking Authority.
The banking sector reforms started immediately after the independence. These reforms were basically aimed at improving the confidence level of the public because in those days, most banks were not trusted by the majority of the people. Instead, the deposits with the Postal department were considered rather safe.
The first major step was Nationalization of the Imperial Bank of India in 1955 via State Bank of India Act. State Bank of India was made to act as the principal agent of RBI and handle banking transactions of the Union and State Governments.
In a major process of nationalization, seven subsidiaries of the State Bank of India were nationalized by the Indira Gandhi government. In 1969, fourteen major private commercial banks were nationalized. These 14 banks Nationalized in 1969 are as follows:
|List of 14 Banks Nationalized in 1969|
|1.||Central Bank of India|
|2.||Bank of Maharashtra|
|4.||Punjab National Bank|
|8.||Indian Overseas Bank|
|9.||Bank of Baroda|
|12.||United Bank of India|
|14.||Bank of India|
The above was followed by a second phase of nationalization in 1980, when Government of India acquired the ownership of 6 more banks, thus bringing the total number of Nationalised Banks to 20. The private banks at that time were allowed to function side by side with nationalized banks and the foreign banks were allowed to work under strict regulation.
After the two major phases of nationalization in India, the 80% of the banking sector came under the public sector / government ownership. After the nationalisation of banks, the branches of the public sector banks in India rose to approximately 800 per cent in deposits, and advances took a huge jump by 11,000 per cent. Government ownership gave the public implicit faith and immense confidence in the sustainability of public sector banks.