Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the merger of public sector banks would not lead to job losses, PTI reported.

The move to merge Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda will create a bigger entity like the State Bank of India, he said. The merger may also reduce the cost of lending, Jaitley told the Lok Sabha.

On Wednesday, the government approved the merger to make the new entity a globally competitive lender and the country’s third-largest bank. It was announced in September.

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said no employee will be fired and there will be no impact on their service conditions.

State-owned banks were closed on December 26 due to a nationwide strike called by unions against the merger. Around one lakh branches and offices of 21 public sector banks were closed and 10 lakh employees had joined the strike, according to the United Forum of Bank Unions.

On December 21, an officers’ union of state-run banks had called a day-long strike to protest against the merger and demanded an immediate settlement of wage negotiations.

In response to another question asked in the House on Friday, the Finance Ministry said Syndicate Bank and Canara Bank have not yet made any presentations to the government about a merger or consolidation.