As many as 2,118 branches of 10 public sector banks have either been closed or merged with other banks in the last fiscal, according to an RTI reply.

The highest number of 1,283 branches of Bank of Baroda were either closed or merged, according to information provided to an RTI query filed by Neemuch-based activist Chandrashekhar Gaud.

No branch of Bank of India and UCO bank was closed in the last fiscal. The government consolidated ten PSU banks into four in the last financial year, bringing the number of nationalised banks to 12.

All India Bank Employees Association general secretary CH Venkatachalam said a dip in the number of the public sector banks was not in the interest of the banking industry and domestic economy.

He said there was a need to expand the branches of the banks to cater to the vast population in the country.

Bringing down the number of bank branches has reduced employment opportunities in the banking sector following which the young people were frustrated, Venkatachalam added.