Mangaluru: Two banks with its roots in South Canara region became just names to remember from Wednesday with the merger of city-based Corporation Bank with Union Bank of India and Manipal-based Syndicate Bank with Canara Bank. The Union governments decision to merge them with the two other banks came into effect Wednesday. Corporation bank was the oldest banking institution in the erstwhile South Canara district of Madras Presidency, founded in March 12, 1906 in the temple town of Udupi. It was set up by a small group of philanthropists led by Khan Bahadur Haji Abdullah Haji Kasim Saheb Bahadur. The bank started functioning as Canara Banking Corporation (Udipi) Limited with just Rs 5,000 as its capital. The first branch of the bank was opened at Kundapur in 1923, followed by the second in Mangalore in 1926. After years of phenomenal growth and eventual nationalisation in 1980, the bank was christened Corporation Bank. The bank celebrated its 114th foundation day on March 12 this year. Corporation bank and Andhra Bank merged with the Union Bank of India on Wednesday. The last day of the bank on Tuesday also saw Corporation Banks managing director and chief executive officer P V Bharathi retiring from her 37-year-long banking career. Bharathi had joined Corporation Bank as its CEO in February 2019. Syndicate Bank, which also was born in South Canara initially as Canara Industrial and Banking Syndicate Limited at Manipal, had opened its first branch at Udupi in 1925. Businessman Upendra Ananth Pai, Vaman Kuduva, an engineer and Tonse Madhav Anant Pai, a physician and educationist, were the three visionaries who founded the institution. The bank, named Syndicate Bank Limited in 1954 with its head office at Manipal, was nationalised on July 19, 1969, along with 13 other major commercial banks in the country. Vijaya Bank, also with origins in the coastal belt, known as the cradle of banking, had merged with Bank of Baroda on April 1 last year. The bank was established by a group of farmers led by A B Shetty on October 23, 1931.
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