is likely to serve as a risk-mitigation exercise as much as a growth engine.Though there is no confirmation yet, speculative signals arising from the market point tothe prospect of consolidation involving banks such as Union Bank of India, Bank of India,Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank, State Bank of Patiala, and Punjab and Sind Bank. Further,the case for merger between stronger banks has also gained ground — a clear deviationfrom the past when only weak banks were thrust on stronger banks. There is a case beingmade for mergers between banks with a distinct geographical presence coming together toleverage their respective strengths.
GLOBALIZATION/ OVERSEAS EXPANSION
Growing integration of economies and the markets around the world is making global banking a reality. The surge in globalization of finance has already begun to gainmomentum with the technological advancements which have effectively overcome thenational borders in the financial services business. Widespread use of internet bankingwill widen frontiers of global banking, and make marketing of financial products andservices on a global basis possible. In the coming years globalization will spread further on account of the likely opening up of financial services under WTO. India is one of the104 signatories of Financial Services Agreement (FSA) of 1997. This gives India’sfinancial sector including banks an opportunity to expand their business on a quid pro quo basis.As per Indian Banks' Association report ‘Banking Industry Vision 2010’, there would begreater presence of international players in Indian financial system and some of the Indian banks would become global players in the coming years. So, the new mantra for Indian banks is to go global in search of new markets, customers and profits.
There is an imperative need for not mere technology upgradation but also its integrationwith the general way of functioning of banks to give them an edge in respect of services provided to their constituents, better housekeeping, optimizing the use of funds and building up of MIS for decision making, better management of assets & liabilities and therisks assumed which in turn have a direct impact on the balance sheets of banks as awhole. Technology has demonstrated potential to change methods of marketing,advertising, designing, pricing and distributing financial products and services and costsavings in the form of an electronic, self-service product delivery channel. Thesechallenges call for a new, more dynamic, aggressive and challenging work culture to meetthe demands of customer relationships, product differentiation, brand values, reputation,corporate governance and regulatory prescriptions. Technology holds the key to the futuresuccess of Indian Banks.Internet, wireless technology and global straight-through processing have created a paradigm shift in the banking industry. The explosive growth of both the Internet andmobile and wireless technology is revolutionizing the way the financial industry conducts