Banking in India has a long history and it has evolved over the
years passing through various phases. The beginning of modern day
banking in India can be traced to 18th century when English traders
came to India. The English Agency Houses in Calcutta and Bombay
began to conduct banking business besides their commercial
activities. Banking in India during the pre-Independence period was
largely characterised by the existence of private banks organised
as joint stock companies. Most banks were small and had private
shareholding of the closely-held variety. They were largely
localised and many of them failed. At the time of Independence in
1947, the Indian banking system was weak. The entire banking sector
was in the private sector and the credit requirements of
agriculture and other needy sectors were ignored. With a view to
better aligning the banking system to the needs of planning and
economic policy, the policy of social control over the banking
sector began in 1967. The year 1969 was a landmark in the history
of commercial banking in India. In July of that year, the
Government nationalised 14 major commercial banks of the country.
In April 1980, Government nationalised 6 more commercial banks. The
period beginning from the early 1990s witnessed the transformation
of the banking sector as a result of financial sector reforms that
were introduced as a part of structural reforms initiated in 1991.
This book integrates and brings together the history of modern
banking in India, with focus on recent developments in the context
of liberalisation and privatisation wave sweeping across world
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