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RBI, govt rebut social media rumours about closure of 9 banks

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: September 25, 2019  | 20:11 IST

(Eds: Adding more info) Mumbai, Sep 25 (PTI) Rebutting social media rumours, the RBI as well as the government on Wednesday said no public sector bank is going to be shut. Meanwhile, the country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) said it will continue normal functions this week as well as the next amid rumours that banking services could be affected on account of strike and holidays. The strike call given by bank unions for Thursday and Friday has been withdrawn. Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar described such social media messages as "mischievous" saying the government was in the process of strengthening public sector banks (PSBs) by infusing capital in them. "Reports appearing in some sections of social media about the RBI closing down certain commercial banks are false," the central bank said in a statement. Messages are circulating in various social media platforms that nine banks will be closed down permanently by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and appeals being made to public to withdraw their money from them. "No question of closing any #PSB, which are articles of faith. Rather Govt is strengthening PSBs with reforms and infusion of capital to better serve its customers," Kumar said in a tweet. The messages are being circulated a day after the RBI placed restrictions on withdrawals in the crippled Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank (PMC Bank), thus affecting lakhs of customers. Most of the banks named in the messages are those that have been either merged with other banks or are in the process of being merged. Last month, the government had announced that 10 PSBs would be merged into four. SBI asked its customers not to believe in rumours being circulated in social media. "Our customers will continue availing normal banking services, without disruption," it said and its branches will function normally this week and next week for "customers with no disruption in the normal banking services". It further said in a notice that its ATM, digital transactions and online banking channels will remain available round the clock. Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India will be merged with Punjab National Bank (PNB), while Syndicate Bank will become part of Canara Bank. Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank will be merged with Union Bank of India, and Allahabad Bank with Indian Bank. The government has already merged Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda. Also, the IDBI Bank was taken over the public sector insurance behemoth LIC. Recently, the government announced to infuse capital into the IDBI Bank. Meanwhile, PNB in a statement asked its customer not to get confused with PMC Bank on which the RBI has put operational restrictions. Referring to the news related to operational restrictions on Mumbai-based PMC Bank, PNB said: "It may be clarified that the above news does not pertain to Punjab National Bank. PNB continues to enjoy the confidence of its customers and all stakeholders across the board. The bank maintains a healthy financial system." PTI NKD CS HRS

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