New Delhi: India may consider consolidating some of the country's banks into three to five large banks to support manufacturers and exporters to compete with the best in the global market, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday. "India has created over the years many banks and none of them are of international standards," said Goyal, Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, addressing a seminar in Singapore via video-conferencing. "There is a possibility of consolidating some of the country's banks into three to five large banks to support India's manufacturers and exporters to compete among the best in the global market," said Goyal. India currently has around 28 public sector banks that needs to be consolidated, Goyal said. India needs more focused or specialised banks in the niche consumer segment.
"There is room for banks both at the top and at the bottom," said Goyal, responding to a question on Indian banking sector in a dialogue with Singapore-based business community at the 'Emerging India Forum 2016' conference organised in Singapore. Apart from major public sector banks there are also a number of smaller players in the cooperative sectors regional and rural banks and the chain goes down the line to service the rural sector, he said. "We need really is a two sets of banks, large ones which can work in the international space and another set which can reach out to the people at the bottom of the pyramid in the rural areas where people would otherwise be intimidate," he said. The forum was attended by some 300 Singapore-based Indian businessmen.