RBI released its publication on "Branch Banking Statistics", 4th in the series, detailing on 82,285 branches / offices of 171 Commercial Banks in India (including 86 RRBs) as on 31st March, 2009. It is not clear as to why this data took seventeen months from the date in the computerised / networked environment when the financial data was already published!
Trend and Progress of Banking in India, an annual feature is released by RBI during November of the year annually and we have it for 2009 too. This document throws up voluminous data for use by any bank, academician or researcher, if not a policy maker or an administrator. Only last week, RBI's latest Annual Report for 2009-2010 has been released with lots of financial data and performance.
And now, this publication primarily on branches of all commercial banks in India is too late. By now, RBI should have released 2010 data for branch banking. And this too, appears to be not speaking on foreign banks in India. I presume that the four non-schedule banks are the Local Area Banks while data on old and new private banks are referred as other Scheduled Commercial Banks. The nomenclature could be clearly spelt out to avoid confusion to the readers. One heartening information is that the banking system in India is serving 14,000 population per branch which is commendable.
In total number of branches, Uttar Pradesh (9,658), Maharashtra (7,551), Andhra Pradesh (6,520) and Tamil Nadu (5,890) lead the pack in that order. Similarly 7 SBI Group branches number to 16,062 out of a total of 79,735 (by a total of 171 SCBs). One more observation is that 32 Foreign Banks have merely 293 branches (of which 4 are in Semi urban and 4 more in rural areas). Bank of Baroda has the highest 46 branches abroad in 14 countries with maximum of 9 each in Fiji Islands and UK as also 8 in Mauritius. SBI has its presence in 19 countries with 37 branches while the next (third) is Bank of India with 23 branches in 11 countries. Finally, one last observation is that while 15 old private sector banks have 4,673 branches in comparison to 7 New Private Sector Banks having 4,204 branches with their presence in all the States/UTs.