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State Bank of India (SBI)

State Bank of India (SBI) is the country's largest commercial bank, in terms of assets, deposits, and employees. 

Owned by the Indian government, it offers a range of general banking services from loans and advances to corporates and individuals in India and abroad. Because it is state-owned, SBI is the preferred banker for most public sector corporations. SBI, along with its associate banks, offers micro-financing to entities such as self-help groups in rural areas that would otherwise have no access to formal credit channels. Through its subsidiaries and joint ventures, SBI offers financial services such as investment banking, brokerage services, asset management and insurance. 

Although SBI's origins date back to the 19th century, it was formally established post-independence on July 1, 1955 through the implementation of SBI Act, 1955. Upon its formal establishment, the bank took over the assets of the Imperial Bank of India, which was formed in 1921 with the amalgamation of three banks -- Bank of Bengal, Bank of Bombay and Bank of Madras. State Bank of India went public in 1993 issuing 1.24 crore shares priced at Rs 100 each; the Government continues to be the majority owner. 

See Also: core banking system

This was last updated in July 2012

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